From 9-to-5 To ONE Strawweight Champion, Jarred Brooks Talks 2022 Turnaround

Jarred Brooks’ journey in ONE Championship from new arrival to strawweight king is a path paved with blood, sweat and hard work.

Fighting around Asia in 2019, Brooks was one of many athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. No shows meant no fights – and no fights meant no money.

With finance the focal point of Brooks’ focus, the Detroit dueller swapped MMA gloves for full-time work, and when global lockdowns showed no signs of easing, the American star was forced to ponder on what might remain of his fighting career.

Thankfully, things eventually turned around, and the difference between then and now is almost night and day, according to the American star.

“It was crazy. I was fighting at Rizin in 2019, then COVID came around, and there were no fights,” Brooks recalled.

“I literally could not get one fight to try to spring back – and Father Time is working. So I was working part-time jobs and full-time jobs, pretty much had a nine-to-five, working all day.

“I could barely train, and it’s just a complete 360 from where it was. It’s so much easier to train, so much easier to do the things that I’m doing under ONE Championship. If I wouldn’t have gotten signed to them, then who knows where I would be?”

The mentality that saw Brooks through the fighting drought of 2020 is directly connected to the mentality that saw him defeat Joshua “The Passion” Brooks to claim the ONE Strawweight World Title at ONE 164 on Saturday, 3rd December.

The American feels that mindframe is something he has always possessed. Through amateur wrestling and his mixed martial arts career, Brooks’ confidence has always offered him an advantage.

“I’ve always had that mentality. That’s why I’ve always tried to bring warfare. I realized how to do this game at a young age,” Brooks said.

“So now I feel like I’m ahead of the game. Not necessarily physically, but mentally, I’m ahead of the game.”

Now sitting atop the strawweight mountain, “The Monkey God” appreciates the journey he’s experiecned to get here. Through thick and thin, the Mash Fight Team representative cherishes it all.

Emotions may have poured from the new strawweight king after his unanimous decision win over the longtime World Champion, but Brooks refuses to get caught up in the moment.

He knows it can all be gone in an instant, which spurs him on to remain dominant and look to improve.

“I’d say five [out of ten for performance],” Brooks said.

“I think that I have a lot to work on. I’ve been working on a lot of things. It’s just that I didn’t express them in the way that I know I could’ve.

“I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, though. I’ve always been the type of person that forgets about a win. I want to forget about that win and move on. And then see what I can capture next. That’s how you have to be in this game.”

Severe MMA Staff