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Mixed Martial Arts

Joshua Pacio, Jarred Brooks spend breakfast together after controversial rematch

Joshua Pacio and Jarred Brooks showcased the true spirit of sportsmanship, managing to bury the hatchet following the controversial finish of their rematch at ONE 166 on Friday.

The morning after the intense showdown, both men shared a conciliatory breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas in Qatar.

That signalled a resolution that extended beyond the confines of the Circle.

The most poignant moment came when an emotional Brooks approached his Filipino rival. He offered a tight hug and sincere apologies for the unfortunate incident during their bout at the Lusail Sports Arena.

“I genuinely feel horrible about it. I did not intend to injure Joshua or put him in that situation. It’s disappointing how things went down,” Brooks told Tiebreaker Times.

Pacio, in his characteristic sportsmanship, warmly greeted Brooks, assuring the American that he had not taken it personally.

“Freak accidents happen in life, and the sport we love is no different. We just learn and move on. That’s the best way. I have no hard feelings,” Pacio said in a separate phone call with the article’s author.

In a surprising gesture, Pacio and Brooks extended their breakfast gathering to include fellow strawweight competitor Jeremy Miado.

He had also competed on the same card in a losing effort against Keito Yamakita.

The heart of the controversy stemmed from a moment in their rivalry’s second encounter when Brooks executed a forceful slam on Pacio’s head in the first round, leading referee Herb Dean to issue a red card.

Per ONE Championship’s Global MMA Ruleset, takedowns must not result in “spiking or pile driver[s] to the head or neck.”

ONE-166-Jarred-Brooks-vs-Joshua-Pacio-1 Joshua Pacio, Jarred Brooks spend breakfast together after controversial rematch Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

(C) Lions Nation MMA

Initially believing he had secured victory after the takedown and subsequent head strikes, Brooks’ elation turned to disappointment.

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Dean identified the infraction, awarding the 28-year-old Baguio City native the win by disqualification.

This turn of events allowed Pacio to reclaim the ONE Strawweight MMA World Championship he had lost to Brooks in December 2022.

Rendered unconscious by the illegal suplex, “The Passion” was promptly taken to the Hamad General Hospital for assessment. Fortunately, CT scan results revealed no signs of fractures, brain damage, or neck injuries.

Now medically cleared, Pacio is ready to fly back to the Philippines tomorrow, putting to rest concerns about his well-being.

The incident mirrored a previous occurrence in ONE Championship when Edward Kelly, a teammate of Pacio at Lions Nation MMA, faced Christian Lee in September 2018.

During the bout, Lee executed a belly-to-back suplex, causing Kelly to land on his head and neck. Consequently, the Singaporean-American star was disqualified.

Looking ahead, a rubber match between Pacio and Brooks seems imminent to finally settle the score and determine the one true king of the promotion’s stacked strawweight division.

But for now, the two fighters remained non-committal about their future plans.

Written By

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.

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