Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks talked the talk, and now he’s walking the walk all the way to a ONE Strawweight World Title shot.
The #2-ranked contender made quick work of #1-ranked Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane, submitting him via rear-naked choke in the first round of their catchweight MMA bout at ONE 156: Eersel vs. Sadikovic on Friday, 22 April.
With his dominant victory in this World Title eliminator, “The Monkey God” set up a highly anticipated showdown with reigning strawweight king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.
The two excellent grapplers immediately tested their strengths at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, with Brooks clinching up his opponent following the opening bell.
After the athletes exchanged failed tosses, the American finally got a step ahead and took Masunyane’s back from the standing position.
“Little Giant” defended the initial rear-naked choke attempts as he calmly carried “The Monkey God” like a new backpack. However, the Mash Team Fight representative had other plans and began dissecting the South African.
Still vertical on his foe’s back, the 28-year-old patiently broke down the defense, dropping punches onto the side of Masunyane’s head and occasionally sprinkling in body shots.
With less than a minute to go, the top contender looked like he would survive the frame. But Brooks turned on the heat, switched to his right hand, and squeezed the neck to attempt another rear-naked choke.
Before long, “Little Giant” finally gave in and dropped to the canvas, where he was choked unconscious at the 4:39 mark of round one.
It was Masunyane’s first career loss, while the Indiana native improved to 19-2 (1 NC) overall and booked a ONE Strawweight World Title challenge of Pacio.
“Joshua Pacio I’m coming for you, man,” Brooks told Mitch Chilson in his post-fight interview. “I swear I’m taking that belt to the United States, I promise you.”