ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has swung back at American star Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks.
“The Monkey God” recently stated that Pacio is “a well-rounded fighter” and “a legitimate champion.” But in the same breath, he sent a warning shot to the Filipino titleholder.
“I’m there to rip him apart and show everybody around the world that I’m the best in the world,” Brooks said.
“I love you, Josh, but I got to come in there and make my dues.”
Pacio acknowledged those comments on Monday afternoon.
While the Team Lakay product thinks highly of the American, he also believes other athletes in ONE Championship’s strawweight mixed martial arts division are more deserving of a World Title opportunity right now.
“I respect Jarred Brooks, he’s a great athlete, and I think every athlete has [to pay his] dues. I got my eye on him,” the 25-year-old Pacio says.
“But right now, I’m more [focused] on who’s in the rankings, and I think Bokang Masunyane is a lot better than Jarred Brooks. I’m not at my peak yet, but I promise you when you get to face me in the future, I won’t be that easy.”
Last month, Pacio expressed a desire to finish his trilogy with longtime foe and #1-ranked strawweight contender Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta and then move on to fight #3-ranked Masunyane.
Meanwhile, Brooks is eying Pacio’s Team Lakay stablemate Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang. The two were scheduled to meet at “ONE on TNT II” in April, but Adiwang had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.
If that matchup is rescheduled in the future, a victory over “Thunder Kid” would certainly force Pacio to keep both of his eyes on Brooks.