Brooks Says Minowa Will Get ‘Big Brothered’ At ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE
For “The Monkey God,” this mixed martial arts showdown at the Singapore Indoor Stadium is another chance to talk the talk and walk the walk.
He had plenty of choice words for Adiwang – then the #5-ranked strawweight contender – leading up to their clash in November, and he proceeded to grab the #3 spot with a dominant performance.
Now, he’s planning more of the same against a fellow World Title hopeful.
“I know that in a fighting career, there is just a certain amount of time that you have, and I want to fight as much as possible and fight the best fights as much as possible,” Brooks says.
“The fights that excite me are the ones that I’ve looked the best in. You put me up against anybody in the top five, top ten, it’s going to be a scrap. And it’s going to be fun too because you can see me just talk circles around these guys and then fight circles around them too.”
That said, Brooks is giving plenty of respect to Minowa.
The 28-year-old wrestling star continues to aim for a shot at strawweight king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, but he’s not taking another for granted against the 22-year-old phenom.
In fact, he believes the man from Japan represents one of the toughest tests in the entire weight class.
“Everybody looks over Hiroba, man. Hiroba is a tough, tough, tough kid. I am not going to sit here and say that I’m just going to run past him and, ‘What’s up, Josh, we’re gonna get it,’ you know,” Brooks says.
“I think that Hiroba is probably the best in the division besides [#1 contender] Bokang [Masunyane]. So yeah, I’m more focused on him right now than Joshua.
“But yeah, Josh, of course, I am coming for you.”
In terms of their stylistic matchup, “The Monkey God” has spotted some similarities between himself and Minowa.
Specifically, the Mash Team Fight representative expects to face an opponent with a relentless grappling style, a strong all-around game, and a ton of motivation for this pivotal battle.
“Hiroba’s probably super excited for this fight. He doesn’t seem like he’s the type to post on social media and stuff like that. It seems like he tries to harness a lot of energy and express it out at one time,” Brooks offers.
“He throws pretty straight punches when he wants to throw. He’s not a bad boxer. He has a high chin, just a little bit. On the ground, he’s great. He has fast takedowns, super efficient, defensively sound. He definitely has a lot of great qualities that I see in myself as a grappler as well.
“I see a lot of great qualities in a fighter in him. He doesn’t get enough recognition.”
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Brooks is never short of confidence, however, and while he respects what Minowa brings to the Circle, he thinks even more of his own game.
“Inside of the fight, I see me just overpowering him. I’m way more aggressive. He might be a little bit more flexible and more agile,” he says.
“I think he might be strong, but he hasn’t felt anybody as strong and as fast as me at my weight. I think he has his hands full. He’s going to have a tough time.
“If he tries to shoot in on me, good luck. Take me down? Good luck. I’m going to be right back up to my feet throwing punches, and I throw way harder punches than him.”
The American’s submission victory over Adiwang showcased his elite grappling skills, but it came against an athlete who’s primarily known for his ferocious striking.
Minowa is a very different animal, and “The Monkey God” has adjusted his game plan accordingly
“In this fight, it’s going to be harder than Lito’s fight, for sure, because [Minowa] is a winner. That dude doesn’t lose usually,” Brooks says.
“I’m going to be super aggressive on him, and I’m going to throw hands in this fight and actually show people that grapplers do have hands. [The game plan] just depends on who I’m going against.
“If I’m going against Lito Adiwang, the king of the punching, I’m not going to punch with him. I’m going to take the king of punching down and tap them out. Then see where I go from opponent to opponent.”
Brooks’ reverence for Minowa is evident by the fact that he doesn’t expect to run through him quickly. Earning a quick victory is still top of the agenda, but he believes he may have to play the long game.
In the end, though, “The Monkey God” is confident that he’ll score a dominant win over his youthful foe – and teach him some lessons along the way.
“Every fighter wants to knock that guy out and get them out in the first round, in the first 30 seconds. That’s cool. I mean, I would really, really enjoy doing that. But there’s 15 minutes, so you’ve got to play with what time can give you, or what your opponent can give you,” Brooks adds.
“That young kid won’t get tired, in my opinion. I think that he’s just going to get pounded on. He’s just going to get big brothered in there. That’s how I look at it.
“He’s a young kid. I got to give him some butt spankings – you know what I’m saying?”