Jarred Brooks has made waves in the strawweight division since jumping onto the ONE Championship stage. On Friday, April 22, the American will take one more step toward the gold in a title eliminator against #1-ranked strawweight contender Bokang Masunyane at ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic.
Jarred Brooks Expects Finish Of Masunyane
Brooks has dispatched of Lito Adiwang and Hiroba Minowa thus far on his path to take over the division. Although he has exchanged barbs with divisional king Joshua Pacio, Brooks views Masunyane as his biggest threat in the division.
“It really wasn’t my decision. It’s more of what ONE wants and what the ONE Championship fans want. And Bokang is better than Joshua Pacio,” stated Brooks.
“And if Bokang wants to fight Pacio, then I think Bokang would beat him. But I think that Pacio has his hands full in the strawweight division now, period. I mean, we got everybody coming up. You got Miado. You got me. You got Bokang. I mean, dude, it’s going to be a tough road for him.”
“He’s the one that said that Bokang and Jarred should fight first in order to fight me. And we all know that I deserved it more than Bokang, but at the end of the day, it’s just another day and another fight.”
But the chickens cannot be counted before they hatch. The South African is ranked as the top contender for a reason.
Masunyane is unbeaten in his professional career and is coming off a blistering 37-second knockout over Rene Catalan at ONE: Big Bang. With more than a year since his last outing, a fresh Masunyane has only gotten better.
Brooks is aware of the explosiveness of the “Little Giant” but feels the South African is still untested against the elite of the division.
“He’s super athletic; he has a lot of great qualities that he has shown. But unfortunately, he hasn’t really gone against anybody. And they put him in front of me, I think that I have faced way better opponents,” said Brooks.
“I do see him breaking on the feet and wanting to shoot and go for takedowns. And it’s going to be a tough road for him, man. He’s going to have a really, really tough time taking me down. And if he does, I’m going to spring right back up to my feet. And he’s not going to hold on to my back like he does to all these other people.”
The winner of the match will be in line for a shot at the gold as the undisputed top contender. The stakes are known, and all that is left is to shut the Circle door and ring the bell.
For Brooks, the task is simple.
“I just got to take a 30-hour flight and beat some ass, get paid, and then come back and take that title away from Pacio.”
“I’m definitely expecting a finish. I’m not letting a five-foot guy get out of that circle,” said Brooks.
ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic will air live on Friday, April 22, beginning at 4:30 a.m. ET/1:30 a.m. PT on watch.onefc.com.