Joshua Pacio hopes to keep improving as Silva rematch looms
MANILA, Philippines—Joshua Pacio is now in rarified status after his successful title defense against former champion Alex Silva in ONE: Fire and Fury Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The reigning ONE strawweight world champion has defeated every big name in the division that also include ex-champions in Yosuke Saruta, Yoshitaka Naito, and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirchoke.
Pongisiri Mitsatit, Roy Doliguez, and Rene Catalan, all of whom are considered as some of the best challengers in the division, also fell to Pacio (17-3).
Nevertheless, Pacio doesn’t seem to put too much attention on his conquests and his potential challengers as he focuses more on what he can still improve on moving forward.
“Right now I’m focused on how to level up my skills for a potential rematch [with Silva] or whoever I get to face,” said Pacio in Filipino. “A different Joshua Pacio should be the one I show next time I fight.”
The 23-year-old Pacio defended his belt via split decision in a match that received mixed reactions.
Silva (9-5) is a brilliant grappler with eight of his wins coming via submission and Pacio was all too aware of that as he took the fight standing up and tried desperately to avoid sending it to the ground.
For much of the fight, it was Pacio who dictated the pace with his striking but Silva had his moments whenever the fight got to the ground.
Silva tried to lock Pacio in several submission attempts but the Filipino escaped every single one of them.
“For me, I just played it safe because if I suddenly explode he’s there waiting for a submission maneuver,” said Pacio, who won his third straight fight and seventh in eight outings.
“I think he was waiting for me to make a mistake and the black belts in jiu jitsu are just waiting for you to slip.”
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