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Mixed Martial Arts

Three opponents Pacio should face en route to Brooks rematch


Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio had a rough night at the office when he faced Jarred Brooks at ONE 164 this past Saturday, 3 December, at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.

The Filipino star lost via unanimous decision, ending his three-year reign as the strawweight king. However, “The Passion” has always kept a flame burning in his fights and could return to the top, as demonstrated by his 20-4 professional MMA record.

That said, here are three potential opponents the 26-year-old could face before a potential rematch with Brooks.

Gustavo Balart

one-roots-of-honor-gustavo-balart Three opponents Pacio should face en route to Brooks rematch Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports newsBalart is the No. 4-ranked contender in the strawweight rankings, and a heated rivalry has developed between him and Pacio over the last year.

“The Gladiador” and the Team Lakay athlete had a war of words, and the Circle would be the best place to settle their beef, especially with Pacio now on the come-up.

Additionally, the 35-year-old Balart is riding a three-fight winning streak and holds an 11-4 record. So, a win over him could nudge Pacio back toward the coveted crown.

Bokang Masunyane

one-mark-of-greatness-Bokang-Masunyane-def-ryuto-sawada Three opponents Pacio should face en route to Brooks rematch Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news“Little Giant” was bumped down to the second spot in the rankings thanks to Pacio’s move to top-ranked contender.

However, the only loss on Masunyane’s otherwise perfect 8-1 record is to the new World Champion in Brooks.

The 28-year-old has an elite wrestling style that could be an interesting matchup to “The Passion’s” stellar stand-up. With eight finishes to Pacio’s name, a battle with Masunyane would definitely be a must-see for viewers worldwide.

Hiroba Minowa

ONE-Inside-The-Matrix-Minowa-def-Adiwang Three opponents Pacio should face en route to Brooks rematch Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

Photo from ONEFC.com

Minowa is a grappler who likes to go the distance in his matches in the Circle – a stark contrast to Pacio’s tendency to finish fights quickly.

#ReadMore  Pacio says need to move out of 'comfort zone' led to split with Sangiao

The Japanese athlete is the #3-ranked contender on the strawweight roster and holds decision wins against former titleholder Alex Silva and Pacio’s teammate in Lito Adiwang, giving him a 13-3 MMA record.

Minowa’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills would be put to the test, as Pacio has eight submission victories in his professional career. If “The Passion” sharpens his ground game against the 24-year-old, he may be able to reclaim the World Title against the wrestling-based Brooks in a rematch.

Up next, download the ONE Super App to catch all the action at ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov on Saturday, 14 January, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Read More From ONE Championship:   

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