Lusail Sports Arena was destined to have a stacked card when ONE Championship arrives on Friday, March 1, for ONE 166: Qatar. The first flame to the hot card started on Monday with the promotion revealing three signed matches. The organization announced the first title tilt of several expected along with two fascinating contender’s bouts for the event.
The rivalry between “The Monkey God” and “The Passion” will continue in Qatar. ONE Strawweight MMA World Champion Jarred Brooks will defend the crown against the former king, Joshua Pacio. It will mark the first defense for the American and give Pacio a chance to get back on the throne.
Three fights have been announced for ONE 166: Qatar! 🇶🇦 Who would you like to see headline this historic card?#ONE166 | March 1 at 3:30PM AST
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Brooks had a dominant run toward the title and utilized his wrestling en route to capture the 26 pounds of gold. After some time away to improve, Pacio returned to shut down Eko Roni Saputra in October. The victory gave him what he needed to secure his title bid and a second crack at Brooks.
In heavyweight action, former champion Arjan Bhullar will meet Iran’s Amir Aliakbari. The two credentialed wrestlers will try to pick up a crucial victory in their bids for a shot at the title. The two behemoths arrive to the bout with different momentum.
Bhullar will be looking for redemption. After a lengthy period away from the Circle, he returned and was dominated by Anatoly Malykhin. He will be motivated to prove that it was just a speed bump on his journey. Meanwhile, Aliakbari has been on a tear with three consecutive TKO finishes to position him as one of the top contenders in 2024.
Submission grappling will also see two top flyweights scrap on the canvas. Osamah Almarwai and Cleber Sousa will try to get each other to tap and become Mikey Musumeci’s biggest threat in the division. Both men are coming off losses to the American but want to make a statement to show their elite grappling on the global stage.
ONE 166: Qatar airs live on Friday, March 1. The action will get underway at 7:30 a.m. EST/4:30 a.m. PST. More bouts will be announced in the weeks ahead, stay tuned for complete coverage of ONE 166.