Jarred Brooks used an effective and powerful boxing along with dominant ground game to dethrone Joshua Pacio of Team Lakay Saturday night, Dec. 3, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Brooks dominated from the get-go despite Pacio’s superb defense and counterpunching style.
Though he remained calm and composed all-throughout the five rounds, Brooks’ early punishment took a toll on the Team Lakay’s stalwart’s gas tank especially in the third and fourth round.
With the win, Brooks improved to a 20-2 record while Pacio fell to a 19-4 slate.
“Much respect to Joshua Pacio and Team Lakay. I know I had some choice words, but I was just trying to make this fight as big as possible,” said Brooks, who turned emotional after the bout.
Both fighters set their own pace in the first two rounds, with the American warrior threatening with his ground game but Pacio maintained his defensive stance.
The Team Lakay stalwart did some damage while on foot, even landing a spinning back fist in the second round but Brooks still went for the ground game tactics and wrestled Pacio.
When the two strawweight stars got back on their feet after some striking action, Brooks went for the shoot but Pacio countered with a couple of knee strikes.
It was in the third round though when Brooks turned the tides in his favor, landing more significant punches while Pacio still went on the defensive.
Gaining momentum from that strong third round, Brooks had a clear shot at submitting Pacio with a rear-naked choke attempt but the former strawweight champion was saved by the bell.
The fifth round could have gone to either fighter given their clear exchange of strikes. Brooks though still connected more punches and even scored a huge takedown late in the final round which spelled danger for the erstwhile champion.
With Pacio’s defeat, the Philippines was left with no world champions in the field of mixed martial arts.
Jeremy Pacatiw, Jhanlo Sangiao take wins for Team Lakay
On a positive note, Jeremy Pacatiw and Jhanlo Sangiao, the son of head coach Mark Sangiao, earned respective victories for Team Lakay and brought home USD$50,000 for their bonus performance.
Pacatiw submitted Tial Thang of Myanmar with a slick triangle choke at the 1:17 mark of the second round while the younger Sangiao also punished Anacleto Lauron with a rear-naked choke at the 1:48 of the first round.
Their submission finishes earned the nod of ONE CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong, making Jhanlo the first Team Lakay member to be given the bonus performance.
Pacatiw also attempted an armbar lock on Thang at the three-minute mark of the first round but it was too slippery to get a hold of a lock.
A solid strike wobbled Thang first before finally securing the triangle choke for the win.
Eduard Folayang, Jenelyn Olsim, and Geje Eustaquio all suffered knockout losses while Adonis Sevilleno, the ONE Warrior Series: Philippines winner, absorbed a unanimous decision loss to Drex Zamboanga.
Folayang yielded to Edson Marques of Brazil after referee Olivier Coste halted the match — which many saw as an early stoppage — when the former lightweight champion hit the floor face first after the Brazilian’s right straight.
Meng Bo only needed 24 seconds to knock out Olsim which turned out to be Team Lakay’s first loss of the night in ONE: 164.
Eustaquio showed great offense and defense in his ground game against Yong but the Chinese fighter turned things around and dominated the former flyweight champion when both of them got back on their feet.
Yong unloaded a solid right hook on Eustaquio which floored the Team Lakay veteran and left him stunned on the canvas at the 4:43 mark of the first round.
Sevilleno, for his part, leveled Zamboanga’s prowess but it was the latter who prevailed with more significant strikes and takedowns.
The ONE Warrior Series winner took control of the first round after scoring two takedowns and even attempted a rear-naked choke on Zamboanga.
But Zamboanga bounced back stronger in the next two rounds, taking down Sevilleno and punished him with more striking.
The third round also went in favor of Zamboanga as he threw knee strikes and a couple of elbows and hammer punches while on mount.
Meanwhile, Brandon Vera, 45, announced his retirement from the sport after suffering a technical knockout loss to Amir Aliakbari.
Aliakbari hit Vera with multiple punches while the former heavyweight champion couldn’t retaliate and remained defenseless.