ONE strawweight world champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio walked out of the Singapore Indoor Stadium leaving no doubt as to who the best fighter in the division is.
The win may have also shown who’ll be the best fighter in the division for years to come.
Pacio did not miss a single beat in his return to the ONE Championship circle after scoring a sensational first-round TKO win of Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta in the co-main event of ONE: Revolution on Friday, September 24.
“This is a very satisfying win. There were a lot of challenges for us. Last year, it started with the pandemic and the lockdowns, then I got injured, then starting this year, I got COVID. I was in quarantine for four weeks – it was very hard,” Pacio said.
“I absolutely didn’t expect a fast finish. I’m shocked that he was kicking and striking with me. He decided to strike with me, which is my bread and butter, my world, so yeah, I thought, ‘Let’s bring it on.’”
Not only did Pacio wrap up his trilogy with Saruta in style, he also broke the record he previously set in the strawweight division.
The Filipino holds the most number of wins in the division with nine while also having the most world title fights in the division at seven, winning five of those – also a record in the division.
Moreover, he has evened the score with the two guys who beat him in the past in Saruta and Yoshitaka Naito.
Lastly, his five wins in world title matches also earned him the record for the most number of world championship victories for a Filipino in ONE.
He now looks to continue to separate himself from big names such as former ONE lightweight world champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and former ONE heavyweight world champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who both have three wins in world title matches.
And the most exciting thing about Pacio? He’s only 25.
“There’s a lot [that’s changed for me], particularly in my confidence, attitude, and in my skills,” Pacio said when asked about his improvement over the years.
“I have a long way to go. I have to keep getting better and better – that’s my goal, to level up at least 1% every day. I know I have more to show in my future fights.”
The Team Lakay star has always been high on improvement, putting emphasis on constant evolution. And based on what fans have seen in his third match against Saruta, Pacio certainly knows how to walk the talk.
“I can strike, I can wrestle now, and it’s not just defensive wrestling but offensive wrestling as well. If it stays on the feet, I am comfortable there. If you try to take me down, I will wrestle with you,” Pacio said.
“I had answers to all of his attacks. It just so happened that he competed against me in my bread and butter in striking and I got the win.” – Rappler.com