In the final chapter of ONE Championship’s 2022, the king of the strawweights will grace the Circle for the first time in over a year.

Reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will defend his belt against Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks at ONE 164 in the defending titleholder’s back yard of Manilla, Philippines, on Saturday, December 3.

The Filipino fighting machine made his last promotional appearance at ONE: Revolution in September 2021, where “The Passion” orchestrated a sensational first-round knockout of Japan’s Yosuke Saruta to put an exclamation point on their longtime rivalry.

Pacio, a five-time ONE strawweight champion, is riding a four-fight winning streak off the back of that thunderous KO, and takes his championship stature to three straight title defenses in the process.

Now, after facing a familiar foe for the third time, the 26-year-old braces for a fresh challenge in his lone bout of 2022, where he will once again put it all on the line – this time in front of his own people.

The challenger, however, will not care for the sentimental aspect of the contest. Brooks, the No. 1 contender, enters the bout having exchanged heated words with the champion for the better part of the year.

In fact, months before he even made his ONE Championship debut in November 2021, the American had been talking about challenging Pacio for the gold. And his recent displays in the Circle have backed up his words, warranting the title shot.

“The Monkey God” submitted Pacio’s Team Lakay training partner Lito Adiwang in his promotional debut, and then he destroyed the other top-ranked fighters in the strawweight division, Hiroba Minowa and Bokang Masunyane. That victory over Masunyane was particularly impressive, as he put the previously unbeaten South African to sleep inside a single round.

Brooks’ surge through ONE Championship has been nothing short of meteoric, and after witnessing both men dominate the weight class, it’s quite clear that MMA’s best strawweight fighter will be revealed on Saturday.