ONE Championship

‘Just Jarred’: Recovering Joshua Pacio eager for Brooks trilogy this year

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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‘Just Jarred’: Recovering Joshua Pacio eager for Brooks trilogy this year

DISQUALIFIED. Jarred Brooks illegally slams Joshua Pacio's head on the canvas.


New ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio wants to fight no else but Jarred Brooks this year after a controversial finish to their bout

MANILA, Philippines – After a controversial ending to their title bout rematch, ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio cannot wait to wrap up his “unfinished business” with American rival Jarred Brooks

Pacio said he wants to complete the trilogy with Brooks, who surrendered the strawweight title off a disqualification after illegally slamming the Filipino’s head on the canvas.

Although still recovering from the neck injury he sustained, Pacio said there’s “no one else” he wants to fight this year as soon as he gets medical clearance.

“It’s really just Jarred. For me it’s unfinished business,” said Pacio in a media event on Saturday, March 16.

Per doctor’s advice, Pacio needs to take a break for two months following 14 days of no training since the bout. 

Fortunately, Pacio did not suffer from any major fracture, even after the piledriver-like slam knocked him unconscious as soon as his head landed on the canvas. 

With this timetable, the Filipino fighter believes it will be more than enough to get back in top shape for a potential third bout against Brooks.

“I want the trilogy to be this year. I’m hoping it would be in the Philippines,” said the soft-spoken fighter. 

Pacio and Brooks first faced off in December 2022 when the American got the best of the Filipino for the same title. 

In a bout at the Mall of Asia Arena, “The Passion” was overwhelmed by Brooks’ offensive style, claiming the championship in a somewhat one-sided affair.

Before their second showdown early this month, Brooks was undefeated since signing with ONE Championship. 

HIs only career losses also came in strange fashion during his UFC days, then losing to future UFC flyweight titlist Deiveson Figueiredo in a controversial split decision, before bizarrely knocking himself out in 2018 after a slam to Jose Torres. 

Pacio, meanwhile, pulled out all the stops to prepare for their second fight, even hiring a wrestler to match Brooks’ style, only for the fight to end in an anti-climactic manner. 

“As a mixed martial artist, I didn’t like the way I won, but I know that I earned the belt through hard work, not just by myself, but with my team and the people who sacrificed their time to train me,” said Pacio.

Nevertheless, Pacio sees this as an opportunity to regroup for the fighter he described as “the best I’ve ever faced.”

“This was the best training camp I had because of him,” said Pacio. “He made me a better athlete, better MMA fighter in all aspects.” –

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