June 21, 2024

They shall rise again.

Team Lakay, one of the most decorated mixed martial arts gym in Asia, is now left without a world belt from the previous six world belts in two MMA promotions.

This is after the last MMA world belt held by former ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio was taken by American Jarred Brooks, who won via unanimous decision against the former in the main event of ONE 164 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Dec. 3.

LAST MMA BELT GONE — The last mixed martial arts world champion belt held by Joshua Pacio of Team Lakay has been yielded to American Jarred Brooks who outpointed the erstwhile Filipino champion in the main event of ONE 164 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Dec. 3. Previously, Team Lakay had six world MMA belt in two promotions. — ONE photo

The 29-year-old Brooks has outpointed the 26-year-old Pacio during their five five-minute bout before thousands of MMA fans enroute to a unanimous decision victory.

Brooks went to work quickly, bringing the fight to the canvas in the first round where he pu-nished the Filipino superstar with ground-and-pound for nearly four full minutes.

Through the se-cond and third frames, though, Pacio showed exceptional takedown defense, using underhooks to successfully ward off the American’s vaunted wrestling attack.

But on the feet, Brooks has landed his fair share of looping and leaping punches as the Team Lakay fighter looked to counter.

In the fourth, Brooks finally took Pacio to the mat with a beautiful back-take and spent more than 90 seconds hunting a rear-naked choke to close the round.

He then sealed the victory in the final frame as he scored yet another takedown to put a stamp on an incredibly disciplined and well-rounded world champion performance with all the three judges in the circle seeing the contest in Brooks’ favor.

Brooks thanked the Filipino crowd, gave respect to Pacio, and dedicated his brand-new belt to his father.

Meanwhile, China’s Hu Yong scored a first round knockout of former ONE flyweight world champion Geje Eustaquio in the undercard of the fight night.

A powerful straight right hand from the 26-year-old dropped Eustaquio and scored the finish at 4:43 of the first frame. 

It was Hu’s 10th victory overall and his sixth in his last seven fights.

Team Lakay’s newest ONE fighter, Adonis Sevilleno, was outdueled by fellow Filipino fighter Drex Zamboanga. – Harley F. Palangchao