“The energy and excitement is just different in Manila” - Joshua Pacio excited to return to Mall of Asia Arena

ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio is excited to perform in front of a live crowd in Manila. (Image courtesy of ONE)
ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio is excited to perform in front of a live crowd in Manila. (Image courtesy of ONE)

ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio will be putting his world title on the line against Jarred Brooks at ONE 164. The much-hyped and anticipated world championship bout will be Pacio's 4th defense of his throne.

Brooks, ever since debuting in ONE last year, has been throwing serious barbs at the rather quiet and reserved strawweight king on social media.

After numerous fights and trash-talking in-between, things will finally come to a head in Manila on December 3..

What also makes this event special is the fact that it will be the first time ONE will have a show in Manila since the start of the pandemic. This will mark the first time 'The Passion' will perform in front of his people since everything shut down in 2020.

In an interview with ONE Championship, Pacio expressed his excitement for the December card:

"I’m very, very excited for this fight. I’m even more excited now that ONE Championship is coming back to the Philippines after more than two years. The energy and excitement is just different in Manila, with the thousands of Filipino fans screaming in the stadium. It really gives us extra motivation to perform at our best. I’m very proud to be a Filipino and I want to make the Filipino fans proud."

It's been said that fans in Manila are a different breed. Whether you're a hometown hero or a visiting fighter, Filipino fans will make you feel how they feel tenfold. It's no wonder Joshua Pacio is eager to perform in front of his countrymen - their passion for the sport fuels his own.

Joshua Pacio warns Jarred Brooks to not underestimate him

Pacio's bout with Brooks was originally planned to take place back in June but had to be postponed to another date. 'The Monkey God' has run roughshod in the strawweight division of ONE Championship, earning him a world title shot in dominant fashion.

Brooks soundly beat top guys like Pacio's own teammate Lito Adiwang, Japanese MMA stalwart Hiroba Minowa, and formerly undefeated dynamo Bokang Masunyane.

Meanwhile, Pacio is on a four-fight winning streak since starting his second reign as the strawweight division's undisputed king. Although Pacio admitted that Brooks' wrestling and grappling will pose a threat, he pointed out that his own Wushu skills won't be easy to deal with either.

Speaking to ONE Championship, Joshua Pacio said:

“I can say it won’t be easy for him to take the belt either. I’ve worked hard for this for many years. There can only be one winner in the fight, but I know no matter what, it won’t be easy for him. I’m extremely confident I can beat him and retain my world title.”

After all the choice words thrown at him by his challenger, expect Joshua Pacio to be at his A game come fight night. With his entire country behind him, look to see 'The Passion' run wild inside the circle on December 3.

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Edited by David Andrew
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