“The Monkey God” was back in business at Only the Brave on Friday, with Jarred Brooks perhaps doing enough to earn himself his first crack at ONE Championship gold.
Brooks went the distance with a gritty Hiroba Minowa, bloodying the Japanese fighter and battering him with elbows at the end of the opening round. Brooks couldn’t get the finish there, and wound up going the distance, not for lack of effort but more so thanks to Minowa’s toughness.
“Man, wow, he is— they should call him The Japanese Zombie, that kid is very hard to finish,” Brooks (18-2, 1NC) told Cageside Press following the bout, which took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. “And he’s super crafty on the ground, a lot more than to the outside eye. He was super crafty, and you have to worry about Hiroba no matter what. And he’s young too, I know he’s going to want to get that win back in the next few years. Yeah utmost respect to Hiroba Minowa, that kid is a gangster for sure.”
A former UFC flyweight who was a victim of the promotion downsizing (and nearly eliminating) the 125lb division a few years back, Brooks is currently on a roll. He’s now won four straight, and is undefeated in six: five wins, and a single bout ending in a no contest due to an accidental foul. “The Monkey God” has been especially fired up since arriving in ONE, where he’s once again on a big stage. Following the win over Minowa, he went into promo mode, and later told us that he’s loving the spotlight.
“Man, I absolutely love it. ONE Championship has treated me like nothing less than like family. They want to promote me, they want to put me in the spotlight. And that’s what I was born to do,” Brooks told us. “Ever since I was born, my dad always told me that I was going to be a superstar. It doesn’t matter if it was acting, if it was singing, rapping, anything like that, I’m willing to go and put my heart and soul out to the camera, and yeah, I’m going to fight for it too.”
With two wins in two outings, Brooks can now set his sights on strawweight champion Joshua Pacio. And while he’d like that fight to be soon, Brooks isn’t so sure that the champ would be willing.
“I think Joshua is deep down inside sh*tting himself. I don’t think he wants to fight me any time really soon,” Brooks opined. “I think he probably wants to fight me in like July or something like that. But he can take as much time as he wants to prepare,” continued Brooks, who added “I think I could beat Joshua Pacio up right now.”
Could Brooks make the turnaround for ONE X, the promotion’s 10th anniversary show expected to take place in March? “I am a company man. If Chatri [Sityodtong], if Rich [Franklin], if Matt [Hume], if all these guys want me to fight in March, I would be more than happy to,” Brooks replied on that front. “I’m looking to get a lot of cash and get some belts, so yeah, I want to spring myself into this promotion as much as possible.”
Watch the full Only the Brave post-fight press appearance from Jarred Brooks above.