Joshua Pacio, undefeated on home turf, set to defend ONE strawweight title vs Jarred Brooks

Out of his six total matches held here in Manila, Joshua Pacio, the reigning ONE strawweight champion, has remained undefeated through and through.

ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio (left) and Jarred Brooks (Mark Balmores / MB Photo)

And for his seventh bout on his home turf on Dec. 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, the Team Lakay stalwart hopes to bring that same winning culture when he takes on top-ranked contender Jarred Brooks of the United States of America.

"I've been undefeated here in my country, the Philippines. And I plan to do that again this December 3rd," said the 26-year-old Pacio during ONE: 164 press conference at The Theatre in Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque Wednesday night, Nov. 30.

For his overall record though, Pacio has 20 wins and only lost thrice in his career -- against three Japanese fighters namely Yoshitaka Naito, Hayato Suzuki, and Yosuke Saruta.

But the Igorot warrior had already proven that fighting in front of the Filipino crowd always brought out the best of him.

Pacio had taken down the likes of Rabin Catalan, Roy Doliguez, Ming Qiang Liang, and Pongsiri Mitsatit in Manila during his early career in ONE Championship.

After beating Naito to take the ONE strawweight belt for the first time last September 2018, Saruta had to play the spoiler's role and dethroned Pacio via split decision four months later.

But in just three months, a hungier Pacio returned to the Circle at the MOA Arena and retook the belt with a knockout victory against Saruta in April 2019.

Since then, Pacio had defended his belt thrice already against the likes of Rene Catalan, Alex Silva, and Saruta, facing him for the third time and ending their fabled rivalry in their trilogy last September 2021.

The next hurdle for Pacio and his momentous streak in Manila though would be the explosive Brooks, who made his way to the top by beating Lito Adiwang, Hiroba Minowa, and Bokang Masunyane.

The 29-year-old American is also riding on a six-match win streak since September 2018. He made a succesful ONE Championship debut in November 2021 and submitted Adiwang, interestingly, a teammate of Pacio.

"This fight has been leading up for the past 6 months I've been training with world champion caliber fighters like Justin Scoggins, I've been training with my head coach James Lee. I've been going to jiujitsu gym to jiujitsu gyms. I've been getting different looks from kickboxing gyms," said Brooks, who holds a 19-2 record.

"It's been really, really tough. And it's been a really rough experience in this training camp. But I'm gonna show it all out against your boy this Saturday. And I'm gonna chop off the head of this Filipino and I'm gonna bring it back to the United States!" he added.