Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks will take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to become a two-sport world champion in ONE Championship at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Friday, Aug. 4.
The reigning strawweight mixed martial arts king called his shot at ONE flyweight submission grappling champion Mikey Musumeci earlier this year, and ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong has made the match a reality – much to the surprise of Brooks.
“This fight got presented to me about five days ago. I was on Instagram when Chatri was on Instagram Live, and I was like, ‘Me versus Mikey,’” he told ONE Championship.
“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.”
The American star is excited to take on the challenge of one of the best pound-for-pound submission specialists in the world, but his reason for taking the bout on short notice has more to do with how it can elevate him to the next level.
Brooks makes it clear that he respects Musumeci, but he is looking to build a legacy in ONE and is hellbent on starting next Friday evening.
“He’s a great kid. He’s somebody that I look up to and that everybody else should look up to in the industry. But I know he has his tics. So we’ll see when he grapples with me how he feels about that,” he said.
“Man, if I can beat Mikey Musumeci at his own game and beat him for the flyweight title, I think that I can start to call my own shots as far as doing these mixed-rules contests and stuff like that.
“I’m trying to take over ONE Championship. I put it all on the line every time. And it doesn’t matter who it is or who it’s up against. I’m going to show the whole world that nobody can face me and get out of there a winner.”
The Monkey God is known for his wrestling skills in MMA, having rolled through the strawweight division en route to the gold.
He is a former state wrestling champion in his own right and believes he can utilize this advantage along with his athleticism to shock the world against Musumeci.
“I’m not really worried defensively. I’m defensively sound in an ankle lock as far as jiu-jitsu goes. So actually, what can Mikey do against somebody of my prowess,” Brooks stated.
“I think that I will be most successful on the feet. We’re starting on the feet, and it’s not like he can butt-scoot towards me. And I’m just going to be as athletic as possible.
“The dude doesn’t get really submitted. So the only way I see myself submitting him is getting something quick. My speed, my agility, and my athleticism are going to play a big factor in this.”
Although he is confident in his defensive skills, the Indiana native knows he has to mind his Ps and Qs against the New Jersey native.
Even so, fans shouldn’t expect Brooks to go shell up. In fact, the ONE strawweight MMA champion is clear that he plans to be aggressive and surprise “Darth Rigatoni” in Bangkok.
“He’s known as the best grappler of all time. So I think that he’s good everywhere. When he grabs onto something, you’ve got to make sure that you’re twisting out of it quick, making sure that your knee line gets out of his hip line,” he said.
“So they’re the things that I’m looking at as far as what Mikey has advantages in, 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.”
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