A long-awaited heavyweight MMA showdown and a trio of Team Lakay’s finest warriors have been added to ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks, which broadcasts live from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, on Saturday, December 3.
In addition, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, bantamweight dynamo Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw, and Filipina phenom Jenelyn Olsim will proudly represent Team Lakay at the blockbuster showcase.
Vera has been on a collision course with Aliakbari ever since the Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion signed with ONE Championship in August 2020.
Once the ink on his contract dried, the brash Iranian called out “The Truth” and even said he would “smash his face.” Instead of engaging in a back-and-forth war of words, the Filipino-American superstar took the high road and eagerly awaited the chance to meet his hulking rival in the Circle.
Now, more than two years later, the match is finally happening and the timing couldn’t be better.
Vera is looking to set himself up for an epic comeback after losing the ONE Heavyweight World Title to Arjan Bhullar in May 2021, and a big win over the Iranian would be a massive first step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, Aliakbari brings a tremendous amount of confidence into the ONE 164 co-main event showdown, as he most recently decimated former ONE World Title challenger Mauro Cerilli en route to a second-round TKO this past August.
Whoever emerges victorious from this clash of the titans would conceivably enter the ONE Heavyweight World Championship mix.
Aside from that colossal matchup, three of Team Lakay’s finest warriors will also return to action.
Eustaquio, who is riding a two-bout winning streak, wants to crash the ONE Athlete Rankings and make another run at the flyweight belt.
The Filipino veteran will attempt to state his case against “Wolf Warrior” Hu Yong, who is looking to rebound from his first promotional loss and use the former ONE Flyweight World Champion as a stepping stone to greater heights.
After suffering a tough defeat at the hands of recent ONE Bantamweight World Title challenger Fabricio Andrade, Pacatiw will try to end the year strong and re-enter the winner’s column.
Standing in his way is Aung La N Sang’s protege “The Dragon Leg” Tial Thang, who has been training alongside the former two-division king and picking up new tricks at the highly acclaimed Sanford MMA.
Lastly, ONE 164 will feature the return of Olsim, who has quickly become Team Lakay’s newest female superstar.
After edging out Brazilian striker Julie Mezabarba in an atomweight clash this past June, the Filipina moves back up to strawweight and plans to make her mark on the division.
She could achieve that against Chinese knockout artist Meng Bo, who kicked off her ONE Championship run with a pair of highlight-reel victories and a dominant unanimous decision.
Though she experienced some hardship in her last two outings, Meng has been tightening up her skills at JacksonWink MMA in the United States and intends to show new elements of her game in her upcoming appearance.
For more news about ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks, stay tuned to onefc.com.