It’s a rare sight to see Team Lakay fighters seethe and seemingly lose their cool.
But brash new ONE signee Jarred "The Monkey God" Brooks has apparently struck a chord with the Igorot warriors that Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang couldn't help but fight fire with fire and respond to his trash talk.
"I think he's just an unlucky guy who talks and acts like a monkey. I guess that's why he calls himself 'The Monkey God' because he will try to bluff and get in his opponents' head before the fight and that's really all he could do," Adiwang said.
That's why Adiwang is just looking forward to his strawweight clash against Brooks, which takes place at ONE: NEXTGEN III, a tape-delayed event from Singapore that airs on 26 November. Adiwang can’t wait to put the American in his place.
"I am ready to humble him and show him that the lions in this division eat monkeys like him for breakfast," the 28-year-old Baguio-based fighter said.
For Adiwang, this fight is all about earning respect.
From the moment Brooks came to the scene in ONE Championship, the American wasn't shy in directing his verbal attacks at the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio, telling the Filipino titleist that he would "rip him apart" and show that he's the undisputed best strawweight in the world.
And how proverbial is it that it is Adiwang who Brooks has drawn for his promotional debut.
This fight between the ONE Super Series contract winner and the Fight Matrix Strawweight Lineal Champion is actually one that is seven months in the making, that was until Adiwang tested positive for COVID-19 and forced the bout's cancellation.
Since then, the Filipino rising star has come back stronger, besting Chinese foe Hexigetu at ONE: REVOLUTION back in September with a dominant unanimous decision triumph as he has won nine of his last 10 fights.
Now, Adiwang can turn his attention back to Brooks as he also seeks to unveil his continued development in his gradual ascent in the strawweight division.
"I've improved from my last fight. I think that I'm a smarter, stronger, and tougher fighter now who's ready to continue winning in the strawweight division," he said.
"The cancellation of our original match, I think, is also a blessing in disguise as it gave me more time to study his style and check on his strengths and weaknesses. With those in mind, I think I can accomplish my goals when I fight him and that is to humble him inside the ONE Circle," he said.
Aside from this heated strawweight showdown between Adiwang and Brooks, ONE: NEXTGEN III will also see the return of former ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Alaverdi Ramazanov as he fights Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in a hard hitting Muay Thai co-main event.