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MANILA, Philippines – Former ONE strawweight MMA world champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio’s long awaited rematch against current divisional king Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks won’t be coming up until March 2024, but the Lions Nation MMA representative isn’t taking chances this time.
Pacio and Brooks are set to tangle once more when ONE Championship breaks ground in Qatar this March 1, 2024 for ONE 166 inside Lusail Sports Arena.
The announcement came right when the country was preparing for the holiday festivities – but with a clear date now for his rematch, Pacio is starting early.
“The holidays will have to be put on hold for me,” Pacio said.
“I’m excited for this rematch. You guys better look out for a better Joshua Pacio.”
The first time that they met, it was Brooks who surprised Pacio as the American looked good on the feet while Pacio worried about the eventual takedowns that would come from “The Monkey God.”
The Filipino had no answers to Brooks’ aggression and when the final bell sounded, it was clear as to who would be leaving the Mall of Asia Arena with the world title that night.
It’s something that Pacio vows to never happen again, and it was evident with his actions after.
The Filipino dynamo traveled to the United States and stayed there for two months in the hopes of improving his skills with some of the best camps in the US.
In a continuous search for something new, Pacio made the biggest decision in his career when he left Team Lakay, the squad that he’s known ever since he was starting, to join Eduard Folayang and Lions Nation MMA
That move paid dividends in his return as he outlasted the tough Mansur Malachiev, and he’s confident that it’s going to help him once more as he battles Brooks again.
“I’m gonna take all my time preparing, working my butt off to make sure that I get that belt again,” he said.
“I feel like I’m more focused this time and I’m confident with what I’m doing because I have a team, I have this brilliant group of people that I can collaborate and brainstorm with, and we can talk about the things that I need entering this fight.” – Rappler.com