A meaningful nickname must have a good origin story and a strong affinity to its owner.
“The Monkey God” checks both of those boxes for Jarred Brooks, who will make his ONE Championship debut against Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang in the main event of ONE: NEXTGEN III this Friday, 26 November.
The lifelong wrestler earned the first incarnation of his moniker on the mats at one of the most famous mixed martial arts gyms in the world.
“I was training at American Top Team. I’d wrestle all of those guys,” the 28-year-old strawweight says.
“For as little as I was, I was still hanging with all of these big guys. I’d hang on to them like a monkey, so my coach would call me a spider monkey.”
Having been recognized for his primate-like abilities, Brooks liked the idea – and then took a deeper dive into the monkey world to find something he felt would be more suitable.
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“I started doing my research on powerful figures who were monkey-like,” the American says.
“Myself, I’m a [free]mason, so I like to outsource to other religions. I saw Hanuman was the monkey God, and I was like, ‘Man, this is a perfect fit for me.’”
With that, “The Monkey God” nickname was born, and it’s been an integral part of Brooks’ persona ever since.
As well as being exceptionally strong pound-for-pound, monkeys also have a reputation for being playful and mischievous.
It would be fair to say that Brooks embodies these characteristics too, and his spirited personality has already caused a stir among his peers in ONE’s strawweight division.
Brash and bold, the rising star isn’t afraid to express himself or wind his opponents up – and that mindset comes back to his primate second self.
“I don’t want to be this confident, it’s just me. Every time that I fight, it’s just something that comes out of me,” Brooks adds.
“You can call it ‘The Monkey God,’ you can call it an alter ego, but that’s just me. Period.”
Of course, the American is all business when it’s time to compete, and he plans to “walk the walk” against Adiwang in his first promotional appearance.