Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao is well-aware that Lito Adiwang will be up for a huge challenge against American fighter Jarred Brooks ahead of their main event showdown in ONE: NEXTGEN III on Nov. 26 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“‘Di natin i-underestimate si Jarred Brooks. Kasi nakita natin ‘yong mga performance niya, ‘yong laban niya, and nakita ko ‘yong nire-review ko ‘yong mga fights niya 10 years ago, napaka-explosive din (We’re not underestimating Jarred Brooks. We witnessed and reviewed his performance, even from 10 years ago, and I would say that he’s very explosive too),” said Sangiao.
“Kailangan ihanda natin nang husto si Lito kasi galing din [si Jarred], sabihin natin sa pinamalakaing mixed martial arts promotion sa US. So kailangan nating i-prepare nang husto (Lito needs to prepare very well for Brooks since he came from one of the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the US).”
Before jumping ship to ONE Championship, the 28-year-old Brooks used to fight in the UFC, Bellator, and Rizin Fighting Federation to name a few.
Sangiao is most likely referring to Brook’s veteran experience in mixed martial arts, especially with two wins in the UFC and two losses in UFC Fight Night events.
That said, the same goes for Team Lakay’s camp.
Brooks recently commented that skills-wise, Adiwang is one level higher than the reigning strawweight champion Joshua Pacio.
But the Team Lakay stalwart believes that such comments will only be proven through fighting.
“Hindi mo masasabi ‘yon hangga’t di mo ma-try ‘yong dalawa. So ‘yon, ma-try mo nga ‘yung isa pero ‘di mo masabi na mas magaling ito kung ‘di mo ma-experience (You cannot claim that one fighter is better unless you’ve experienced facing both of them),” added Sangiao.
Adiwang (13-3) and Brooks (16-2) were supposed to face in April but the match was postponed due to numerous reasons, mostly due to COVID-19 concerns.
ONE: NEXTGEN III also marks Adiwang’s first main event since joining the promotion in October 2019.