Reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio isn’t nervous about defending the only ONE World Title left in the Philippines – in fact, he’s excited for the chance.
“Honestly, there’s no pressure. If you keep on thinking about it, then of course you’d be pressured,” Pacio said ahead of his trilogy bout with Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta in the co-main event of ONE: REVOLUTION this Friday, September 24.
“I’m more focused on getting the win and retaining this belt. I’m confident that I can apply everything I did in training. So if you’re 100 percent confident, there’s no reason to be pressured.”
Once upon a time, the Philippines was the most successful country in ONE Championship, simultaneously holding five belts in 2018 to truly elevate the sport in the archipelago.
Aside from Pacio, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang was the ONE Lightweight World Champion, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio was the ONE Flyweight World Champion, while Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon held the ONE Bantamweight World Title. Outside of the team, Brandon “The Truth” Vera was the ONE Heavyweight World Champion.
Pacio is the only one left from the quintet, and he is hell-bent on keeping at least one World Title inside the proud country.
But he also believes his brethren on Team Lakay will have their time once again.
“I’m confident in the near future that one or two of my teammates will be World Champions. I think that’s Danny Kingad and Stephen Loman.”
For now, all his focus is on how he ends his storied rivalry with Saruta and returns to the Philippines with the ONE Strawweight World Title over his shoulder.
“A lot of people have been telling me that I should go for the knockout like in the rematch, but if you keep on looking for that, that’s dangerous. There’s a chance that it’s you who gets knocked out,” Pacio said.
“For as long as I execute my game plan, whether it’s via decision, submission, or knockout, I’ll take it.”
Watch ONE: REVOLUTION live on One Sports or One Sports+ beginning with the lead card at 6:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT) on Friday, 24 September.
Read More From ONE Championship: