‘We’ll See Who’s Next For Me’ – Joshua Pacio Excited For Brooks vs. Masunyane World Title Eliminator

Pictures from the fight between Joshua Pacio and Yosuke Saruta at ONE: REVOLUTION

The next challenger for Joshua Pacio’s ONE Strawweight World Title will likely be decided on the main card of ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic.

On Friday, 22 April, #1-ranked contender Bokang Masunyane will face #2-ranked Jarred Brooks in an MMA matchup that will prove who deserves to compete for “The Passion’s” golden belt.

The reigning king from Team Lakay acknowledges that both athletes are formidable martial artists, and just like fans around the world, he can’t wait to see how things play out.

Pacio said: 

“Of course, I’m excited. We know how explosive these athletes are. They are both coming from wrestling backgrounds, so it’s exciting to see how this will unfold. Now we’ll see who’s next for me.” 

Given his status atop the strawweight division, “The Passion” keeps his eyes on any potential challengers who rise through the ranks.

And when it comes to the upcoming World Title eliminator, he sees a path to victory for each contender at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The Filipino said:

“Lito [Adiwang] felt like Brooks was slowing down in the second [of their bout, which Brooks won by submission]. For me, if Bokang weathers the storm in the first round, he’ll be in a good spot. I’m not saying Brooks will gas out because he’s always well-prepared, but I feel like Bokang can control the second and third round.  

“[For Brooks], just keep the pressure on from rounds one to three – basically the same tactic that he did against [#4 contender Hiroba] Minowa. One advantage that Brooks has is his experience. He’s been competing at the top level for the longest time. Bokang is top-level as well, but Brooks’ experience in competing there for a long time is his edge.”

Joshua Pacio Favors Jarred Brooks In Battle Against Bokang Masunyane

While reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio expects a gritty, tight contest between #2 contender Jarred Brooks and #1 ranked Bokang Masunyane, he sees a slight favorite in their highly anticipated showdown.

Pacio thinks “The Monkey God” – who has an 18-2 career record compared to Masunyane’s 8-0 mark – will emerge victorious on 22 April, especially after watching his performances against Hiroba Minowa and Lito Adiwang.

The 26-year-old said:

“For me, Brooks has been more impressive. He faced two top-five contenders and beat them, but I’m not discounting the fact that Bokang beat Rene [Catalan] when he was still in the rankings, and he knocked him out quickly.

“This is hard, but I’m looking at the experience of Brooks, and given that it’s only a three-rounder, I’m siding more with Brooks by decision, mainly because of that experience.  

“Both guys are amazing, and they have the ability to finish anyone, but I think this one’s headed to a decision. They come from the same background, and I expect this to be a grind in the wrestling department.”

“The Passion” has no problem talking up both top contenders, but he won’t back down when it’s time to duel.

And while Masunyane and Brooks have both stated that a victory next week would establish them as the division’s best fighter – Pacio included – the World Champion wants to remind them that he didn’t reach the top by accident.

He added:

“If I face Brooks now, he’ll be one of my toughest fights. But I’m a champion for a reason. If they want to take the belt, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. I’ve worked hard for this, my team has worked hard for this, so I’m not going to give this up easily.”

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