20-year-old Pacio confident ahead of ONE C’ship title shot
He may be young, but there’s no doubt in Joshua Pacio’s mind that he’s ready for the big time.
“Confident ako. Maraming nagsasabi na bata pa ako para sa title fight na yun pero di ko na iniisip yun. Iniisip ko na big opportunity ito para sa akin,” he said.
The 20-year-old Pacio (8-0, 3 KO) will stake his unbeaten record against Japanese veteran Yoshitaka Naito (11-0, 1 KO) for the ONE Strawweight Championship at ONE Championship: State of Warriors on October 7 at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
Known for finishing all of his matches quick, the Baguio native shared that he’s not really pressured to do the same knowing the enormity of his next match.
“Di naman ako pressured na tapusin agad. Basta ang importante sa akin, manalo at makuha ang belt. Kahit anong result, kung knockout, submission, or decision, ang importante yung panalo,” he said.
Pacio also enters an unchartered territory, with him fighting for the first time in a five round match. That’s the biggest concern for his camp during this buildup, as the team hopes to improve the 5-foot-4 striker’s endurance.
“Nasanay ako sa three-round fights. Championship fights are five rounds kaya pinabuti namin ang conditioning and strengthening ko. Pinaghandaan din namin yung ground at wrestling defense kasi doon magaling yung makakalaban ko,” he said.
But if things go his way and the fight stays off the ground, Pacio believes he can upend the defending champion and continue his ascent to the top of the mixed martial arts food chain.
“Alam nating pipilitin nya tayong dalhin sa ground kaya ang nakikita kong advatage is yung sa striking game ko. Doon tayo mananalo,” he said.