Joshua Pacio is the new ONE Strawweight world champion
JAKARTA—There is another Filipino world champion in ONE.
Joshua Pacio clinched the ONE Strawweight belt after grinding out a unanimous decision victory and dethroning Yoshitaka Naito in the main event of ONE: Conquest of Heroes Saturday night at Jakarta Convention Center here.
Pacio joined ONE Interim bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon and flyweight king Geje Eustaquio as the current title holders in the promotion in a banner year for Team Lakay.
AND NEW…ONE Strawweight world champion: Joshua Pacio from Team Lakay! 🇵🇭 pic.twitter.com/gYRqUC3TS0
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) September 22, 2018
The 22-year-old Baguio native dedicated his win to the victims of the mining tragedy that struck Benguet after Typhoon Ompong hit the country earlier this month.
“This is for all of them. I know that the Cordilleras will come back and rise again soon as one,” said Pacio.
Pacio showed he’s a better and more matured fighter than the last time they met, but the young champion admitted that it took all he got to survive Naito in the what turned out to be a five-round grappling fest.
“I tried to counter his takedown and grappling but this guy is a legend, he was so tough,” he said.
Careful not make the same mistakes that cost him the match in 2016, Pacio’s improved ground game was in full display as he refused to succumb to Naito’s submission attempts and barrage of strikes.
“He can take me down but he had a hard time passing my guard,” Pacio said.
Pacio hiked his record to 13-2 with his fourth straight triumph while Naito suffered his second career loss.