MANILA, Philippines – Known for his striking ability, reigning ONE strawweight champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio (16-3) stood tall against the grappling game of his challenger Alex Silva (9-5).
Pacio successfully defended his title against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion in ONE: Fire and Fury on Friday, January 31 at Mall of Asia Arena.
But the young champ is not satisfied about the result, that closed in a split decision.
“I feel I need to work more,” Pacio said. “I didn’t get the finish that we are expecting, I need to work more on my ground game and my follow up striking.”
Even though the match didn’t end the way he planned, the Benguet native showcased an excellent ground defense that neutralized Silva’s submissions, including a deep arm triangle attempt late in the second round.
“Silva’s a world champion, [a] BJJ champion. And all his attempts, Joshua managed to escape in all his attempts,” Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao said. “We can see a lot of improvement in ground [game] of Joshua.”
Silva, though, had a different thought on the fight.
“I feel that I have the fight,” said Silva, who won the strawweight crown back in 2017.
Although disappointed about the result, the Brazilian fighter still gave praise to the champion’s well-rounded skills.
Pacio, who now conquered every former strawweight titlist in ONE, will now focus on developing his game.
“Naka focus ako ngayon sa kung paano ko ipapalevel up yung skills ko,” said the 24-year old striker. “Rematch man o kung sino man yung next, para sa akin gusto ko yung ibang Joshua Pacio yung maipakita ko sa next.”
(I’m now focused on developing my skills. The next time I fight, I want to show a different Joshua Pacio.) – Rappler.com