Jarred Brooks now sits atop the strawweight mountain in ONE Championship. At ONE 164, the American conquered Joshua Pacio in a five-round duel by unanimous decision to take home his first world title. The crowning moment left Brooks on the canvas, overcome with emotion.
When one learns of his journey to the top, it is completely understandable why he collapsed when the decision was read.
Brooks suffered much disappointment earlier in his career. In a matchup against Deiveson Figueiredo that most pundits thought he won, the scorecards did not come out in his favor. After he got back in the win column in 2018, he was released from his UFC contract even though he was considered one of the best athletes in the division.
After a couple of wins in 2019, Brooks signed onto the dotted line with ONE.
From the moment Brooks landed in ONE, he was promoted as the top talent many knew him to be. ONE plastered him across their social media pages and elevated him on their cards. The promotion let his personality shine with diss tracks on his opponents and fun trash talk that helped build his rivalry with Team Lakay.
In his post-match interview, Brooks shouted to the Mall of Asia Arena crowd how much he loved ONE.
“I love this promotion. This is the best promotion in the world, and I’ve been treated like royalty. With all due respect, this is way better than the UFC,” said Brooks.
Other athletes have shared this sentiment. When Cosmo Alexandre retired in the Circle at ONE on Prime Video 4, he spoke of wanting to join ONE in a professional capacity to help continue their growth. ONE Interim Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin mentioned he would love to join the front office after his competitive career is over.
Even UFC Lightweight Champion Islam Makhachev was overjoyed with how ONE treated their athletes when he was in Singapore to corner Saygid Izagakhmaev at ONE 163.
Brooks has earned everything he has gotten, and it is a great sign that ONE has treated him like the star he is. The mutual respect between athlete and organization is how martial arts is supposed to be.