Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks is coming for every top athlete in ONE Championship’s strawweight mixed martial arts division – even the reigning king.
Brooks, who holds a 16-2 (1 NC) professional record, was originally scheduled to make his promotional debut against Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang at “ONE on TNT II” in April, but the bout was canceled after the Filipino tested positive for COVID-19.
That may have pushed back the American star’s big premiere on the global stage, but the 28-year-old still plans to take out Adiwang and then storm his way to the top of the stacked division.
“Everybody in ONE is sneaky, and they’re good, and they have a lot of great capabilities. And I can’t wait until I can showcase my talents and have everybody in that arena just shout,” Brooks says.
“I consider myself still the best in the world, so I guess I’m going to put my heart and put my shield out there and show everybody what’s up.”
With that in mind, “The Monkey God” shared his thoughts on the reigning strawweight king and each of the five official contenders in ONE’s Athlete Rankings.
ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio
“I think he’s a well-rounded fighter. He has a lot of capabilities, and he’s shown that he can grow.
“I remember seeing Josh when he was a little bit younger, and we were liking each other’s Facebook posts and stuff.
“I think he is a legitimate champion. He’s done his dues in the division. But yeah, I’m there to rip him apart and show everybody around the world that I’m the best in the world. I love you, Josh, but I got to come in there and make my dues.”
#1-Ranked Contender Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta
“He trains at [Wajutsu Keishukai] HEARTS. I actually got to train with him during my first outing in Pancrase, so we trained together, and he’s legit. I’ll give him his touts, but he knows what’s up.”
#2-Ranked Contender Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito
“I love that guy. I’ve never met him, but he just seems like he’s a star.
“He’s so likable. He brings that nerdy kind of style and vibe out, and he’s a great, great jiu-jitsu practitioner. He’s a hard fighter to fight against. If that guy had hands, he’d be so, so tough.
“Unfortunately, age is catching up with that guy, and I don’t see him being a top contender very soon. But hats off to that guy. That guy’s [beaten] everybody. He’s done his dues.”
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#3-Ranked Contender Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane
“Oh, now you’re talking about a real opponent.
“I think that Bokang is somebody that I would love to train for, and it would make me train way harder to fight that guy because I know he’s small. He’s very hard to deal with, and he’s fast. He’s a world-class Greco-Roman wrestler. He would be, I would say, my toughest fight in the division.
“As far as training for a camp, I got plenty of guys that are around his size and that are… I wouldn’t say they’re as athletic as he is because the dude’s really athletic, but I got plenty of guys around his size that I can use as a practice dummy.
“I think that me and him are going to meet in the crossroads, but Lito’s first. I got to get that guy out of here first.”
#4-Ranked Contender Hiroba Minowa
“That kid is good. I like watching him.
“He actually beat Lito [in November], and a lot of people say that he tapped against Lito, but I know how it is in those hard situations. You’re flailing a lot, so I don’t think he tapped against Lito. I think Lito is just mad that he lost.
“But yeah, Hiroba Minowa is good. I think that kid is legit. If we were to fight in the next two years, then yeah, it would be bad for him.”
#5-Ranked Contender Alex “Little Rock” Silva
“Alex is a rugged fighter. He’s just a straight rugged fighter. He has a lot of great jiu-jitsu. That’s all I got to say about him. He’s just great at jiu-jitsu, and the formula’s out there to beat him. I think that he’s very beatable, but you got to watch out for him. He’s sneaky.”