The time for talking is nearly over! Joshua Pacio and Jarred Brooks will finally face one another at ONE 158 on June 3rd.
Of course that still gives the American more than two months to try to get under the Filipino’s skin. But the two strawweights will get to settle their differences inside the cage.
The fight was announced late last night:
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 12, 2022
Two time champion
Pacio (20-3) is the two time ONE Championship strawweight champion. He won the title for the second time in 2019 and has made three successful defences.
The Filipino is a veteran of 14 ONE Championship fights and has avenged two of his three losses. He holds wins over the likes of Yosuke Saruta, Alex Silva, Yoshitaka Naito and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
Pacio is part of the Team Lakay stable and first challenged for the strawweight belt in 2018, beating Yoshitaka Naito to become just the third fighter to hold that title. But he came up short in his first defence, dropping a debatable split decision to Yosuke Saruta.
Pacio was handed an immediate rematch which he won. He beat Saruta for the second time last September, extending his winning streak to four.
#AndNew! Filipino star Joshua Pacio of Team lakay reclaimed the ONE Strawweight World Championship in spectacular fashion with a fourth-round KO win over Japan's Yosuke Saruta at ONE: Roots of Honor in Manila! pic.twitter.com/1M3bEPMLLC
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 12, 2019
Brooks (19-2) has been facing some of the best strawweights and flyweights on the planet for the past six years. He is well travelled having fought for Pancrase, the UFC, Rizin and Bellator before signing with ONE Championship.
Brooks has only ever lost two fights. He dropped a debatable split decision to current UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo at an event in Brazil and somehow knocked himself out while slamming Jose Torres, an achievement which has never been replicated.
The American has established himself as the #1 contender at strawweight with wins over Lito Adiwang, Hiroba Minowa and Bokang Masunyane. Brooks only made his ONE Championship debut last November but has been fighting for the promotion every other month.
The American has had plenty to say about Pacio. He’s accused the champion of ducking him, threatened to spank him and laughed at his TV.
"You better take it" 😤 @The_monkeygod wants Joshua Pacio to defend his ONE Strawweight World Title immediately!
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 1, 2022
Pacio has been more dignified but did recently threaten to show Brooks who the ‘real daddy‘ is. He is the only Filipino champion remaining on the ONE Championship roster so the stakes are high.
His Team Lakay teammates Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Kevin Belingon and Geje Eustaquio have all held ONE Championship titles. But the camp’s glory days appear to be over and Pacio is the last remaining champion.
It is not a mantle he will want to part with. Meanwhile Brooks, who hasn’t won a title since his days with regional American promotion House of Fame, is desperate to bring home the belt.
It looks set to be the biggest strawweight fight in ONE Championship history. And it’s going down on June 3rd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.