Joshua Pacio happy with win over Amnuaysirichoke, sets sights on rematch with Naito
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 13, 2017 04:52 PM
"I almost won the title last October. One mistake took it all away from me. With the loss to Naito and the win over [Amnuaysirichoke], it has molded me into a better competitor." - Joshua Pacio (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Team Lakay's rising young star Joshua Pacio picked up arguably the biggest win in his young career so far last weekend after ekeing out a split decision win over former ONE Championship world strawweight champion Dejdamrong sor Amnuaysirichoke at ONE: Warrior Kingdom in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 21-year old Pacio employed a solid gameplan, taking Amnuaysirichoke down and punshing him from the top for two rounds, which was enough to earn him the nod on two of the three judges' scorecards.
"It was a tough fight against [Amnuaysirichoke]. I was expecting it because he is a former champion in Muay Thai and a world champion in MMA. You cannot deny that he has a heart of a true warrior." said Pacio post match.
According to the young Lakay, they recognized that the former Lumpinee champion could have a slight edge in the striking department, that's why they opted to bring the fight to the ground.
"All things went according to plan in the first two rounds of the bout. He is a dangerous striker, that's why I consistently looked to score takedown. I tried my best to pacify him on the ground. I can say that he did his homework for our fight. He showed significant improvement in his ground game."
While Pacio dictated the pace for the first two rounds, Amnuaysirichoke rallied back in the third round and kept the fight standing, and Pacio, while being able to hold his own during the final moments of the third round, admitted that he felt the former champion's power.
"I had the same plan in the third round, but I was surprised that he managed to get his second wind. Yes, he got me a couple of times. But I trained for that. I was ready for worst case scenarios."
"There are still a lot to learn. Yes, I am happy that I was able to win over a former champion like DSA and survived a grueling third round against him." Pacio added.
After finally getting back into the win column and managing to do it against a very tough challenge in Amnuaysirichoke, Pacio sets his sights on a rematch with reigning ONE strawweight king Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito.
It was just last October when Pacio was thrust into the title picture after bursting onto the ONE scene with two straight wins with the promotion.
Pacio showed a lot of promise in the first two rounds, dictating the pace and stuffing Naito's takedown attempts. One misstep in the third round however, was all that Naito needed to capitalize and submit Pacio via rear naked choke.
"Of course, I am looking forward to a rematch with Yoshitaka Naito." Pacio said.
"I almost won the title last October. One mistake took it all away from me. With the loss to Naito and the win over DSA, it has molded me into a better competitor."