Jarred Brooks is stepping out of his comfort zone at ONE Fight Night 13 as, in a break from regular MMA action, the ONE strawweight world champion challenges for the ONE flyweight submission grappling world title. Ahead of his match with defending champ Mikey Musumeci, Brooks sat down for a quick Q&A as he shared his thoughts ahead of his bid for two-sport glory.
You’re moving up in weight to challenge Mikey Musumeci for the ONE flyweight submission grappling world title at ONE Fight Night 13. How confident are you that you can beat Mikey?
I felt like I would’ve had six months to get ready for Mikey. It was a little bit sooner for me, but the whole world can see even on three weeks’ notice that I can go in and possibly beat the best submission artist ever.
Talk about your grappling. How do you think it will hold up against a decorated BJJ athlete like Mikey?
I’m defensively sound in ankle locks, as far as jiu-jitsu goes. It’s just that I haven’t really been put in those positions in mixed martial arts. So, (I’m interested in seeing) what Mikey can do against somebody of my prowess.
What do you think you can bring to the table that will surprise him?
When he grabs onto something, you have to make sure that you’re twisting out of it quickly, making sure that your knee line gets out of his hip line. So, those are the things that I’m looking at as far as what Mikey has advantages of. But I’m telling you, I’ve got a lot of surprises up my sleeve.
I’m not doing a jiu-jitsu match. He calls this a match. I’m fighting with this kid. I’m turning a jiu-jitsu match into a fight.
What would you say his strengths are?
I say his strengths are everywhere. He’s known as the best grappler of all time, so I think that he’s good everywhere. The dude practices 12 hours a day, so it’s a scary thought that you’re going against somebody who has that mental state and that prowess. But I know Mikey, and I know a lot of people that know Mikey, and like I said, I’ve got a couple of surprises for him.
Do you plan on demonstrating the beauty of catch wrestling in this match?
I think that it will be the most successful on the feet. I mean, we’re starting on the feet. It’s not like he can butt-scoot towards me, so I think that butt-scooting stuff is for the birds in this matchup. And I think that I’m just going to be as athletic as possible. I’m a wrestler, and I do submissions, and, as far as I know, that’s what they call catch wrestling. So, I’m going to try to catch him.
If you were to beat Mikey and win the ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Title, how would that change your career?
Man, if I can beat Mikey Musumeci at his own game and beat him for the [ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Title], I think then I can start to call my own shots. I mean, as far as going and doing these mixed-rules contests and stuff like that.
Lastly, you’re about to be a new father, so congratulations! But how do you plan to manage your time between training and daddy duties?
You know, there’s going to be difficulties about being a father, just like anybody else. It’s just about taking the time out of your day and being a father first, and a mixed martial artist second.
So, I’m just going to make sure that my daughter just has daddy-daughter time. I’m going to make sure that she is happy constantly. And she’s going to be coming to the gym with me anyway. So, she’s going to be learning at a very young age. She’s going to be a gangster, just like her pappy and just like her mom.