With Saruta now in the past, Joshua Pacio focuses on future

Published September 28, 2021, 2:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Joshua Pacio (ONE Championship)

After putting a lid on a heated rivalry, ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio finally looks ahead. After all, being the man to beat in strawweight division, the Filipino has a lot of people after him. 

Pacio isn’t discounting the possibility of completing another trilogy with old for Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, even despite the rise of new faces like #3-ranked Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane, who he also believes is equally deserving of a shot.   

“When it comes to what’s next, I’d love to see second-ranked Naito go at it with Bokang, or maybe me and Naito [could] complete [our] trilogy,” Pacio said after beating Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta at ONE: REVOLUTION on Sept. 24.

Naito, the #2-ranked strawweight, might have the edge over Masunyane in the rankings, but since he’s coming off a loss to Saruta he needs a win or two to get back to contention.  

Of the two, Masunyane makes the perfect opponent, as he has impressive wins over Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada and former World Title contender Rene “The Challenger” Catalan

“We all know he’s a very explosive wrestler,” Pacio said. 

“We saw that in his fight against Ryoto Sawada – he controlled everything. In his last bout, Rene is a well known striker, and [Bokang’s] the one who scored the knockout. He keeps on improving each match.”    

One guy that Pacio isn’t willing to face yet is Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks, who hasn’t competed in ONE yet but had strong words for Pacio.  

However, considering that he’s someone Pacio could cross paths with in the future, it will certainly be an interesting matchup.  

“Jarred Brooks is very athletic. He’s fast and he has a great submission game, but he talks a lot,” Pacio said.  

Read More From ONE Championship:   

Ok Claims Lightweight World Title With Shocking Upset Of Lee  

Pacio Continues Strawweight Reign With Trilogy-Ending TKO Of Saruta  

Kim Jae Woong KOs Martin Nguyen In Battle Of Heavy Hitters  

 
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