MANILA, Philippines – Reigning ONE Championship strawweight titleholder Joshua “The Passion” Pacio (15-3) will try to cross out the remaining former strawweight champion on his list.
Pacio will defend his crown in the ONE: Fire and Fury on Friday, January 31, at Mall of Asia Arena against former titlist Alex “Little Rock” Silva, who is known for his grappling prowess.
Despite his relentless training on the ground, the young champion from Team Lakay will try to make the Brazilian work on his feet.
“We do more drills sa ground. Not only how to escape, but [also] kung paano rin siya ma-counter,” Pacio said.
(We do more drills on the ground. Not only how to escape, but also how to counter.)
“Doon pa rin tayo sa bread and butter natin, ‘yung sa striking, kung sakaling mapunta man sa ground, wag tayo mag-panic.”
(I’ll stick with my striking. But in case he brings the fight to the ground, I’m ready.)
The 24-year-old champion, who plans to avoid the ground as much as possible, gave praise to his rival’s constant improvement in striking.
“Si Silva, para sa akin, is well-rounded,” said Pacio, who won 6 of his last 7 bouts.
“Nag-i-improve siya sa striking sa bawat laban niya. He’s a born warrior, galing din siya sa baba.”
(Silva is a well-rounded fighter. His striking is improving every match. He’s a born warrior and he also started from the bottom going to the top.)
Silva, who won the strawweight title late in 2017, was the only former champion that Pacio has yet to conquer as he already stopped Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (2017), Yoshitaka Naito (2018), and Yosuke Saruta (2019). – Rappler.com