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“Fight a smart fight” - Joshua Pacio believes game plan is crucial heading into Jarred Brooks fight

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(left) ONE strawweight king Joshua Pacio believes a smart game plan is crucial ahead of (right) Jarred Brooks world title bout at ONE 164 [Credit: ONE Championship]
(left) ONE strawweight king Joshua Pacio believes a smart game plan is crucial ahead of (right) Jarred Brooks world title bout at ONE 164 [Credit: ONE Championship]

Filipino superstar Joshua Pacio believes that fighting “a smart fight” will be crucial to beating Jarred Brooks in their world title showdown at ONE 164.

Originally, both fighters were scheduled to lock horns in June at ONE 158. Due to a scheduling conflict, their strawweight championship bout was postponed for a later date. Now that the highly anticipated event is moving to Pacio’s home country, the next three months will be a time of intense preparation.

Part of that preparation for Pacio is anticipating the future outcome of the fight and creating a solid game plan that he can execute with little difficulty.

‘The Passion’ told ONE:

“I think it’s going to come down to the scrambles, finding the right timing, and picking my shots. I don’t mind trading with him, but I have to be smart about it... We’re going to come in very comfortable, wait patiently for opportunities, and just fight a smart fight with a good game plan. I have many weapons to knock him out.”

Joshua Pacio is a very difficult puzzle to figure out. He can finish you on the ground with rapid submissions, stop you with a single leg kick, or overwhelm you with a flurry of punches. All in all, Pacio is the real deal. He’s now headed towards his fourth world title defense since recapturing the gold from Yosuke Saruta in 2019.

In the other corner, Brooks is the latest threat to his crown having earned a shot with three impressive victories. His list of conquests includes victories over two-time Philippine national Wushu champion Lito Adiwang, Japanese sensation Hiroba Minowa, and then-undefeated African fighter Bokang Masunyane.

With an overall record of 18-2, the gritty Indiana native will no doubt be Pacio’s toughest challenge yet.

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Joshua Pacio’s quick rise to strawweight dominance

It wasn't too long ago that Joshua Pacio found himself near the bottom of the strawweight division. It was evident that the Filipino native had star potential and raw talent, and year after year, ‘The Passion’ never failed to deliver exciting matches with creative submissions and finishes.

The rising star continued his unbeaten run upon his arrival in ONE Championship, collecting back-to-back finishes in 2016. He earned his first shot at the ONE strawweight world title in the same year, but absorbed the first loss of his MMA career - a third-round submission defeat to then-world champion Yoshitaka Naito.

‘The Passion’ went 6-1 over the next two years pushing himself into another world title opportunity against Naito. He would take the gold after a five-round war that ended in a unanimous decision in his favor.

His reign was short-lived though, as Yosuke Saruta took the world title in Pacio’s first defense. The Filipino later took back the title and the trilogy with Saruta via back-to-back stoppages.

Joshua Pacio’s rise has been nothing short of inspirational and he'll look to continue his reign at the expense of Brooks.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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