ONE strawweight world champion Jarred Brooks has never been one to mince words. And, after waiting some time for a challenger to his gold to emerge, “The Monkey God” is sending a clear message to the athletes in his weight class.
Brooks has been adamant that he wants to stay active, but he hasn’t deemed anyone in his weight class worthy of a shot at his throne yet.
So instead, he will move up to flyweight and switch disciplines to submission grappling to challenge reigning king Mikey Musumeci in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Saturday, August 5.
While becoming a two-weight, two-sport, ONE world champion is an enticing prospect for the American star, he wants to cement his position in strawweight mixed martial arts as soon as possible, and he is calling for any contender to make themselves known.
“A huge message to every strawweight out there in my division: Work hard, man. I want to fight every one of you guys,” said Brooks.
“And if you guys are f*****g around, it isn’t fair to me. It isn’t fair to my family, and it isn’t fair to ONE Championship and the fans. Quit f****** around.
“They’re trying to bring in Mansur (Malachiev) and all these new guys coming up and trying to build them up. I like to build myself to where it creates a good matchup. It’s just hard to do that when stuff happens, (and) people aren’t making weight. People aren’t signing bout agreements, stuff like that.”
Brooks isn’t a champion that likes to watch from the sidelines. He wants to become the greatest he can be. And part of that is studying any up-and-coming challengers.
One prime talent in the strawweight MMA division, according to the reigning strawweight champ, is Gustavo Balart.
“El Gladiator” is riding a three-fight winning streak that goes back to 2019. The Cuban star has dispatched Ryuto Sawada, Yosuke Saruta and Alex Silva on his current run, and his performances have caught the attention of “The Monkey God.”
Brooks believes the three-time Pan-American Greco-Roman Wrestling champion’s recent form has gone under the radar, and he firmly believes Balart may be his next opponent.
“Gustavo is super, super tough. He has good boxing. He has decent wrestling. He’s a bronze medalist in Greco-Roman. So yeah, the guy is super tough, but from what I’ve seen out of him, he’s going on his little run right now,” he said.
“They’ve been pushing him off to the side, acting like Mansur was going to get this fight, which rightfully so, he was an Eagle FC champion. But I think that Gustavo Balart deserves it.”