There are only a few options left for prime matches for the ONE Strawweight Division: any pairing that would pit reigning champion Joshua Pacio, top contender Bokang Masunyane, or #2 contender Jarred Brooks.
The Passion has been put on red alert as newcomer Jarred Brooks continued his impressive showing. Brooks dominated Hiroba Minowa, who once dealt Lito Adiwang a loss.
Here’s Chris Mohan of ONE Championship on how “The Monkey God” got the best of Minowa:
Third-ranked strawweight contender Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks continued his ascent toward the top of the division with another dominant performance at ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE on January 28.
The American grappling expert completely decimated #4-ranked Hiroba Minowa to kick off the main card inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In the lead-up to the contest, the Michigan native promised he’d school the 23-year-old Japanese athlete – and he stuck to his word right from the opening bell.
“The Monkey God” immediately found his range and rhythm, coming in with powerful fists, overhands, and a stinging right cross, which wobbled the Saitama native.
Minowa ducked underneath Brooks’ follow-up shots and hunted for his rival’s left leg in an attempt to take the fight to the canvas. However, the 28-year-old American stayed sharp and used his body and momentum to wrap himself around his opponent’s back.
There was no letup to “The Monkey God’s” aggression, as he secured top position and hurt the Japanese phenom with thumping ground-and-pound. The Mash Fight Team star then landed some stinging elbows, which caused damage just above his adversary’s eye.
Brooks’ dominance on the canvas was clear for all to see. And moments before the end of the first round, the American managed to lock in a deep guillotine choke. Minowa, however, was saved by the bell.
The second canto started similar to the first, with Brooks uncorking another stinging right hand that momentarily troubled the STF representative.
Minowa wasn’t going to succumb to the American’s striking prowess, though, and he eagerly traded heavy leather with “The Monkey God” in the center of the Circle.
That decision proved to be the wrong one for him, as Brooks caught his kick and scored a huge takedown. The 28-year-old then continued where he’d left off in the opening stanza. He hunted for more strikes from the top while looking to pass Minowa’s guard and move into side control.
The Japanese phenom attempted to escape, but he gave up his back in the process. Brooks hung onto his opponent’s neck, threw knees, and closed out the round with his ruthless ground attack.
Minowa looked drained at the start of the third stanza, while Brooks was still full of steam. He sprinted toward his opponent with two lead hands and a right cross, which sent the Saitama resident to the Circle Wall.
“The Monkey God” then reminded his Japanese foe about his world-class wrestling abilities and took him to the canvas with two huge slams. The second slam put Minowa right back into the center of the Circle, giving the Japanese fighter less of a chance to find an escape route.
Brooks continued to punish his rival with immense pressure from the top. Minowa, however, made a valiant effort to find an exit door from his opposite number’s grappling prowess.
On the feet, the Saitama native suffered an inadvertent knee to the groin in the waning seconds of the matchup. However, he hung tough, threw a pair of jumping knees, and courageously saw out the bout.
After three rounds of action, Brooks was declared the winner by unanimous decision. The victory bumped “The Monkey God’s” record to 18-2 (1 NC) and moved him closer to a showdown against ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.
Following the win, Brooks told ONE Championship commentator Mitch Chilson that no one in the division could trouble him – that includes the reigning strawweight king, who he called out.
The American star even expressed his desire to eventually move up a weight class.
“Daddy’s home, Joshua Pacio. You better be ready. I’m bending you over my knee just like I did Hiroba. I’m ready, man. Nobody’s going to beat me in this division, not Bokang [Masunyane], not you,” Brooks said.
“I’m coming for the whole flyweight division too, baby.”
By Armando Bolislis with reports from Chris Mohan of ONE Championship
*Check out Chris Mohan’s story here, originally appearing on the ONE Championship website