Joshua Pacio, Jarred Brooks, Other Stars Trade Final Barbs Ahead Of ONE 164
The athletes competing at ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks this Saturday, December 3, fired their parting shots at the show’s official press conference earlier on Wednesday.
With a World Title showdown and a Grand Prix Championship Final topping the stacked card, the second half of ONE’s upcoming martial arts doubleheader – following ONE on Prime Video 5 on Friday – gained a little extra spice.
ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong fronted the presser in front of the fans and media.
He expressed his delight at returning to the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines with a strong lineup of exciting contests.
“It’s the Philippines versus the World after three tough years. You get the greatest Filipino heroes here to defend the honor and glory of the Philippines!”
Brooks Exudes Confidence, While Pacio Stays Calm
Jarred Brooks will challenge hometown hero Joshua Pacio for the ONE Strawweight World Title in the ONE 164 main event, and the outspoken American had no qualms about letting the local crowd know his intentions.
Happy to play the heel in front of Pacio’s passionate fan base, “The Monkey God” said:
“It’s been a really rough experience in this training camp, but I’m going to show it all against your boy this Saturday.
“I’m gonna chop off the head of this Filipino, and I’m gonna bring it back to the United States.”
Those comments understandably drew the ire of the Manila faithful, but Brooks would not back down.
“Everybody wants to hate on ‘The Monkey God,’ but it’s okay because I’m bringing the title back to the United States. I’m getting the belt. Keep hating!”
Pacio was not tempted to take the bait from his brash opponent. Instead, the Filipino superstar calmly referenced his perfect 17-0 record when competing at home.
“I’ve been undefeated here in my country, the Philippines, and I plan to do that again on December 3.”
Longtime Rivals Superlek, Panpayak Ready For Grand Prix Final
The co-main event is the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix Championship Final between Thai striking icons Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Panpayak Jitmuangnon.
The pair have met seven times already, with Panpayak leading the series 4-2-1, but it was Superlek who earned the nod in their last encounter at ONE: NO SURRENDER in July 2020.
Believing in the improvements he’s made since then, Panpayak said:
“I have trained hard for this fight, I have prepared my best. You may remember seeing me fighting before, but I’m going to show you what the new Panpayak looks like – so you’d better be ready for it this Saturday!”
For his part, Superlek is in fine form with four wins in a row and a 6-1 slate in ONE. Moreover, he feels prepared for whatever his old rival brings to the Circle in Manila.
“The Kicking Machine” said:
“I’ll be ready for the new version of Panpayak for sure. I was also training hard for this, so let’s see in the fight.”
Vera Desperate To Beat Aliakbari In Front Of Home Fans
Filipino-American favorite Brandon Vera is also back in action on Saturday, taking on Iranian star Amir Aliakbari in a crucial heavyweight MMA clash that could help determine a future top contender in the division.
Former ONE Heavyweight World Champion Vera revealed he’ll be willing to put everything on the line in front of his people:
“I would much rather die in the Circle than lose here in the Philippines.”
Meanwhile, Aliakbari can take the biggest scalp of his career at the Mall of Asia Arena, and he’s laser-focused on achieving that goal.
The Iranian replied:
“I came here to the Philippines just to fight Brandon Vera, and my objective is to beat him here in the Philippines. That’s what I’m going to do.”
Many of the night’s other stars, such as Geje Eustaquio, Hu Yong, Jeremy Pacatiw, and Tial Thang, were also on deck to answer questions.
Check out the full ONE 164 press conference above to see what they had to say, and stay tuned to onefc.com for all of the event updates.