The last ONE map of the year, ONE 164: Pacio vs Brooks, took place this weekend and it didn’t disappoint – here are five things we took away from a great map to end the year
Amir Aliakbari had waited more than two years for his shot at Brandon Vera – and when it did, he didn’t disappoint. The Iranian smashed the former world champion to a first-round TKO victory, ending the fight on the ground with solid ground and pound. That now means back-to-back wins for Aliakbari, and he will begin to consider a push toward the heavyweight title.
Brooks dominates to take the title
The lead up to this one was filled with genuine dislike between Joshua Pacio and Jarred Brooks, but it would be American Brooks who would go after this one with bragging rights. In truth, he mastered four of the five rounds with his effective wrestling while also landing some decent shots in the flashy fight. Pacio was not allowed to find a rhythm and eventually Brooks became the world strawweight champion by unanimous decision. He then paid tribute to Pacio, ending the months of bad blood before the fight.
One of the night’s biggest winners was Jeremy Pacatiw. The 26-year-old picked up the biggest win of his career when he stopped Tial Thang – along with a $50,000 performance bonus. The bantamweight sealed the deal with a skillful submission in the second round, where they engaged a triangle choke after a series of sub attempts. That brings him back to the Victory Column and wants to continue in 2023.
Superlek gets it close
After an incredible eight fights there is still very little to choose between Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Panpayak Jitmuangnon. Panpayak could still lead that streak 4-3-1 but it was a night of celebration for Superlek who made a split decision after three tough rounds. He now goes into his ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship fight against defending King Ilias Ennahachi on January 13th with a boost in confidence and some extra momentum.
End of an era for Brandon Vera
It had been hinted leading up to the event that Brandon Vera could possibly leave his gloves in the circle if he lost, and it did. At 45, the former world heavyweight champion decided to call it a day after his loss to Aliakbari. A win might have given him another run toward the title shot, but it wasn’t to be. It’s been a long and illustrious career for Vera, who can now rejoice in retirement with a title she can never take – Legend.