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Joshua Pacio thinks "trash-talking" Jarred Brooks should face Bokang Masunyane first, winner gets title shot

(From left) Joshua Pacio, Bokang Masunyane, and Jarred Brooks. [Photo: ONE Championship]
(From left) Joshua Pacio, Bokang Masunyane, and Jarred Brooks. [Photo: ONE Championship]
James De Rozario

Joshua Pacio’s ONE strawweight world title has been a hot topic of conversation recently, largely thanks to American upstart Jarred Brooks.

The freshly minted No. 2-ranked strawweight contender has been trying to play mind games with the Team Lakay superstar since he inked his deal with the Singapore-based promotion in early 2021.

Before his debut, Jarred Brooks warned the division that he was out to prove that he's the best strawweight in the world. He has backed up those claims so far with two sensational performances against Lito Adiwang and Hiroba Minowa.

Pacio knows Jarred Brooks is inching closer to a five-round date with him. However, earlier today, he suggested to SCMP MMA's Nick Atkin that 'The Monkey God' may be neglecting to take top-ranked strawweight contender Bokang Masunyane into account.

Pacio told SCMP MMA:

“I think Bokang has two wins and Brooks has two wins. So maybe if they fight each other, then the winner will get a title shot... For me, anyone would be next in line. Maybe Bokang, maybe Brooks, or maybe they will fight each other and the winner will get me – something like that. So, anyone, anyone. I'm ready to defend my title this April or May, so let's get it on.”
The updated ONE strawweight MMA rankings are HERE 🔥 Has Jarred Brooks done enough to earn a shot at Joshua Pacio? 👀 @The_monkeygod @tobizaru0708 @Hirobad724 #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship https://t.co/p7JypUcVcX

In regards to Brooks’ constant callouts, the Baguio City-based fighter had this to say:

“I'm not annoyed with him. I understand what he's doing. I understand the business side of this sport and I think he's trying to get in my head. But nah, man, that's your thing, do your thing. This is mine. I can't do trash-talking because this is my personality. And I'm setting an example for the next generation here in my country – and it's all about the core values of martial arts.”

Pacio welcomes challengers like Jarred Brooks and Masunyane, wants nothing but the best for strawweight division

The ever-humble Pacio prefers to let his skills do the talking and he likes to keep any conversation about his rivals respectful at all times – before and after fights.

Many have moved to challenge ‘The Passion’ for his gold and Pacio has stacked each name up and added it to his impressive 20-3 record.

Jarred Brooks’ persona, flair and skillset have turned all eyes towards the promotion’s 56.7kg division. The 26-year-old world champion hopes that more experienced athletes will follow suit.

“This is what makes it exciting and, of course, this is a very big challenge. Not just for me, but the entire strawweight division – but this is what will push me to become a better athlete... These guys, Brooks has been there at the top level of competition, so for me, I’m pushing myself to become a better fighter. That's what I love – it's a challenge.”

Catch Pacio's interview with SCMP MMA below:

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Edited by Harvey Leonard

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