"Mas gusto ko na duguan kaysa yung hindi ako napa-laban," - Joshua Pacio laments loss in Macau
"Mas pipiliin ko, mas gusto ko na duguan ako kaysa yung hindi man lang ako napa-laban," - Joshua Pacio after his first-round submission loss to Hayato Suzuki in Macau
"Mas mabuti pa na duguan ako eh..."
A visibly upset Joshua Pacio uttered those words as members of the Philippine media consoled him during the post-fight press conference for ONE Championship: Kings and Conquerors in Macau.
The 21-year old Team Lakay up-and-comer was on the brink of another shot at a world championship. One more impressive win could have been all that he needed.
Instead, he found himself on the wrong end of a rear naked choke at the hands of Japanese newcomer Hayato Suzuki, who was making his promotional debut.
An admittedly over-aggressive Pacio may have thrown one too many kicks in the opening moments of the match, leading to a takedown from Suzuki.
"Gigil ako na makuha yung knockout, yung first na roundhouse ko, walang setup, talagang gusto ko lang ibato," Pacio told the media. "Ineexpect ko na sagutan muna kami ng striking eh, pero yun nga, MMA eh."
Once Suzuki got Pacio down, the Japanese grappler went for the back and ultimately locked in a rear naked choke, forcing the former strawweight title challenger to tap out.
Fortunately, Pacio didn't have to absorb too much damage, given that much of the fighting that happened during the match was positional.
If he had his way however, the Baguio native would rather have been in an all-out war, instead of being unable to showcase his skills.
"Mas pipiliin ko, mas gusto ko na duguan ako kaysa yung hindi man lang ako napa-laban," Pacio reiterated. He admitted that this loss was harder to swallow than his title bout loss to reigning ONE strawweight king Yoshitaka Naito.
"Yung two months na yun, yung preparation ang hirap, pero ganun lang yung outcome, masakit."