At Lions’ den, Joshua Pacio becomes a symbol

At Lions’ den, Joshua Pacio becomes a symbol

/ 04:10 AM March 19, 2024

ONE Championship fighter Joshua Pacio

ONE Championship fighter Joshua Pacio ahead of his match against Jarred Brooks in the ONE 166: Qatar. –HANDOUT PHOTO

Joshua Pacio’s return to the strawweight summit gives the newly formed Lion Nations MMA fight stable its first-ever world champion.

And while Eduard Folayang is thrilled over such a thought, the veteran—regarded as the face of Philippine mixed martial arts (MMA)—sees Pacio’s triumph as something more.

“I think it’s very important especially once you start talking about inspiration,” the former national athlete and ONE lightweight champion told the Inquirer in Filipino over lunch last weekend.


READ: ONE: Pacio reclaims strawweight crown after Brooks disqualification

“We have a lot of young talents. And they want to be champions. Seeing a belt in the flesh will get them disciplined, [make them] work even harder,” he went on.

Pacio regained the strawweight title he once held for so long after his brash-talking rival Jarred Brooks was disqualified for spiking the former’s head early into their clash in Qatar earlier this month.

Both Pacio and Folayang prefer that the young striker reclaim the belt through conventional means, but the pair see the value it truly brings.


READ:  Pacio wants to end Brooks saga definitively

“This is still a testament of hard work,” Pacio said in a separate interview. “This is added motivation for us all in the gym—for older teammates like Kevin (Belingon), and even our up-and-coming fighters. This improves the atmosphere in our gym and I think that’s crucial in any workplace.”


“Seeing a symbol pushes any fighter to unleash whatever he has within,” said Folayang.

“It’s easy to dream, but once you’re on your way making that dream a reality? That’s when things become hard,” he added.

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“They’d always say inspiration is just 1 percent. The other 99 is perspiration.”

TAGS: Joshua Pacio, Sports

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