Jarred Brooks’ climb up the ONE Championship 125-pound ranks culminated this Saturday with a unanimous decision win over long-time champion Joshua Pacio.
Brooks had a strong showing against Pacio to earn the promotion’s strawweight title. His win headlined ONE 164 from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Brooks’ mix of solid striking on the feet plus ground control against Pacio earned him the victory.
Brooks was at his best when he had control on the ground. He got Pacio down in the first, fourth and fifth rounds, sometimes attempting submissions from this position.
Pacio was able to stop some takedown attempts, making a few rounds stay on the feet. But Brooks continued to succeed in these positions as well, scoring with the better shots while on the perimeter of the circular cage.
Brooks, a former UFC fighter, was given a title fight after a quick climb up ONE’s 125-pound ranks. He scored three consecutive wins in the promotion, including victories earlier this year over Hiroba Minowa and Bokang Masunyane.
Brooks has gone undefeated since he departed the UFC roster in 2018, attaining six wins since then.
The champion called out current 135-pound champ Demetrious Johnson in his post-fight interview.
“That’s a dream come true for me,” said Brooks about the hypothetical matchup. “Demetrious [Johnson], I have the utmost respect for you. You’re the best ever. I’d love to share the circle with you, lose or win.”
Pacio was aiming to defend his belt for the fourth time. His previous title fight was a first-round finish over Yosuke Saruta in September 2021.
Superlek Beats Panpayak Without Grand Final Circumstances
In a fight that was supposed to be the grand final of a Muay Thai tournament, Superlek Kiatmoo9 earned a split decision victory over Panpayak Jitmuangnon.
The fight was scheduled to be the culmination of a four-man 135-pound tournament that kicked off earlier this year. However, after both fighters missed weight a day before, the bout proceeded without the tournament stakes.
Superlek landed the stronger shots in a slow-paced, back-and-forth stand-up battle through three rounds. No knockdowns were scored in what felt like a very close contest.
Both Superlek and Panpayak scored a finish in their semi-final bouts in the bracket. Superlek stopped Walter Goncalves in the first round of a bout, and Panpayak beat Savvas Michael in August.
Vera Retires Following Finish Loss
Former ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon Vera announced his retirement from MMA after suffering a first-round finish loss to Amir Aliakbari on Saturday night.
Aliakbari took Vera down in the fourth minute of their bout. From there he was able to quickly unload with hammerfist punches that forced the fight to end.
It looked afterward like Vera suffered a hand injury at some point during the finishing sequence of the bout. He stated afterward that he broke his hand.
With a smile on his face, Vera confirmed to the live crowd afterward that his extensive MMA career had come to an end. Vera mentioned during his post-fight interview that he will pursue an acting career in the Philippines.
Vera was ONE’s heavyweight champion from 2015 to 2021. He defended the belt twice in this time, eventually dropping the title last year to Arjan Bhullar.
With title bouts and this weekend’s bout combined, 45-year-old Vera has now suffered three consecutive defeats via finish.
Aliakbari’s 2022 has now come to an end after two consecutive wins. His previous fight was in August, when he stopped Mauro Cerilli with ground and pound.
Hu Out-Boxes Eustaquio For Early Finish
Hu Yong’s powerful punching skills were on display this weekend when he earned a first-round finish victory over Geje Eustaquio.
Hu floored Eustaquio with a right cross late in the opening round. The referee then got between the fighters and stop the bout before the round came to an end.
Hu nearly ended the fight in the first minute of the bout, knocking Eustaquio down in the opening minute with a left knockdown. Eustaquio was able to recover from this position with some ground control.
Hu had a five-fight winning streak snapped in his previous fight, dropping a decision to Yuya Wakamatsu in late 2021.
Esutaquio was appearing for the first time since November 2020 in this bout. He had a streak of two wins before his appearance this weekend.
Pacatiw Catches Thang With Triangle Choke
Jeremy Pacatiw returned to the win column this weekend, submitting Tial Thang in the second round with a triangle choke.
Pacatiw went to the ground in the second round with a front choke position. Thang escaped this hold and went into a full guard, but found himself immediately caught in a triangle choke from this position. After some resistance, Thang eventually tapped out.
Pacatiw was aggressive in the previous round, storming forward on Thang with combinations of punches in the opening round.
Pacatiw took his first ONE loss earlier this year, getting finished by Fabricio de Andrade. He now has two wins in the promotion.
Thang is now winless through his past three ONE appearances, with those fights resulting in two losses and one no contest.
Win From Drex Caps Off Successful Weekend For Zamboanga Family
Drex Zamboanga had a tough performance against Adonis Sevilleno to earn a unanimous decision win on Saturday.
Zamboanga’s victory was a clean unanimous decision, although it was certainly a fight that he had to grind through to prevail in.
Zamboanga and Sevilleno spent a large portion of the fight battling for control on the ground. Sevilleno was able to control the fight for a large part of the first round, but Zamboanga started to gain control and do damage with striking in the later rounds. It was eventually enough to give him a nod on scorecards.
Zamboanga’s sister, Denice, won hours before this performance on ONE’s Prime Video card.
Zamboanga now has three wins since joining ONE in 2020. His previous fight was just 65 seconds, when he put away Rahul Raju with strikes.
Sevilleno entered this card with significantly less experience than Zamboanga. He had just four fights as a pro from 2016 to 2019, with none of them coming within the ONE cage.
The Rest of the Card
Jhanlo Mark Sangiao had a dominant performance to remain undefeated, getting Anacleto Lauron to the ground and submitting him with a rear naked choke in the second minute of their MMA bout.
Tagir Khalilov landed a perfectly-placed right uppercut to floor Chorfah Tor.Sangtiennoi in the first round of their Muay Thai bout, forcing a finish.
Lara Fernandez picked up her long-awaited first Muay Thai victory on Saturday, scoring a split decision victory over Daokongfah Banchamek.
Meng Bo’s explosive boxing skills were on display this weekend, dropping Jenelyn Olsim with a right cross before finishing her fight on the ground.
Main Card (7:30AM EST / 8:30PM PHST) (Youtube)
Bout 10: Jarred Brooks def. Joshua Pacio via Decision, Unanimous (ONE MMA Strawweight Championship) (125 lbs)
Bout 9: Superlek Kiatmoo9 def. Panpayak Jitmuangnon via Decision, Split (Muay Thai Bout)
Bout 8: Amir Aliakbari def. Brandon Vera via TKO, Strikes (RD 1) (MMA Bout)
Bout 7: Hong Yu def. Geje Eustaquio via TKO, Strikes (RD 1) (MMA Bout)
Bout 6: Jeremy Pacatiw def. Tial Thang via Submission, Triangle Choke (RD 2) (MMA Bout)
Bout 5: Drex Zamboanga def. Adonis Sevilleno via Decision, Unanimous (MMA Bout)
Lead Card (5:30AM EST / 6:30PM PHST) (Youtube)
Bout 4: Jhanlo Mark Sangiao def. Anacleto Lauron via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 1) (MMA Bout)
Bout 3: Tagir Khalilov def. Chorfah Tor.Sangtiennoi via TKO, Strikes (RD 1) (Muay Thai Bout)
Bout 2: Lara Fernandez def. Daokongfah Banchamek via Decision, Split (Muay Thai Bout)
Bout 1: Meng Bo def. Jenelyn Olsim via TKO, Strikes (RD 1) (MMA Bout)