May 24, 2024

■  Harley F. Palangchao 

Newly minted ONE strawweight mixed martial arts world champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has assured fight fans he will recover fast and settle his unfinished business with erstwhile champion Jarred Brooks.

Pacio has acknowledged that his rivalry with the brash American inside the ONE circle is through a trilogy in the future.

ILLEGAL SPIKE — Erstwhile ONE strawweight MMA world champion Jarred Brooks of the United States was disqualified for slamming Joshua Pacio on his head in one of the co-main events of ONE 166 in Doha, Qatar on March 1. Pacio, who was declared safe from any life threatening injury, was later awarded the championship belt. — ONE photo

Pacio has been declared safe from life threatening injury after Brooks threw him on the  head in their championship bout at Lusail Sports Arena in Doha, Qatar on March 1.

Under the global MMA rule set, slams to the head, neck, or spine are not allowed.  

As a result, Brooks was disqualified at the 56-second mark of round one, and Pacio was awarded the ONE strawweight MMA world belt.

Pacio and Brooks went toe-to-toe in a rematch in one of the co-main events of ONE 166.

Brooks entered the opening stanza like a lightning bolt, but he failed to find his range as he struck the Filipino from the outside.

Pacio landed a low kick, but he was quickly wrapped up by his American rival, who then locked in a standing leg triangle and searched for a rear-naked choke.

When he could not find the submission, Brooks changed his approach.

He scooped up the Filipino and slammed him onto the canvas, inadvertently striking Pacio’s head and rendering him unable to continue.

Now with the series tied 1-1, fans should expect a trilogy to happen at some point in the future.

Pacio is now a six-time ONE strawweight MMA world champion.