ONE: Joshua Pacio 'amazed' Renzo Gracie with his Baguio Jiu-Jitsu

Santino Honasan on Jul 28, 2018 05:15 PM
Joshua Pacio 'amazed' Renzo Gracie with his Baguio Jiu-Jitsu
Baguio Jiu-Jitsu, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday night's ONE Championship: Reign of Kings card saw the Philippines pulling off a complete four-for-four sweep, capped off by Kevin Belingon's dominant five-round decision win over Martin Nguyen to capture the Interim ONE Bantamweight World Championship. 

Arguably most spectacular win however, came from 22-year old Team Lakay strawweight star Joshua 'The Passion' Pacio, who steamrolled through undefeated Thai striker Pongsiri Mitsatit. 

Pacio needed just needed three-and-a-half minutes to mount, brutalize, and submit Misatit with a modified armlock, which he playfully christened 'The Passion Lock."

"My gameplan is really to get the Rear Naked Choke," Pacio said during the post-fight press conference. "That submission that I did a while ago, I tried it once in training, and tonight I’m so happy that I showcased it on the international stage."

After punishing Mitsatit from the mount, Pacio took the Thai's back, and as he said, tried to go for the choke, but ended up grabbing hold of Misati's arm and torquing it back applying pressure on the shoulders and forcing the tapout. 

It was a pretty slick submission on the fly for the kid from Baguio City, who's steadily shown improvement in his ground game, and it's all thanks to a special discipline of martial arts. 

"It came from that BJJ - Baguio Jiu-Jitsu." Pacio said, with a laugh. 

And while it initially started out as a play on words with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Team Lakay's Baguio Jiu-Jitsu is now becoming a massive part of their game, and it has won the team a number of fights, and world titles. 

From Eduard Folayang's submission defense against Shinya Aoki, to Geje Eustaquio's well-rounded approach against Adriano Moraes, and Pacio's seven wins via submission, the Baguio-based warriors have taken what was once their supposed weakness and turned into a pivotal part of their game. 

“Please don’t underestimate our BJJ, or what we call Baguio Jiu-Jitsu,” Eustaquio warns. “In more time, we will submit you guys.” Eustaquio said after his world championship win over Moraes in Macau last June. 

While striking will always be Team Lakay's bread and butter, as they've shown in their performances as of late, their ground game can hang with the best of the best in ONE Championship. 

That improvement was the result of years of coming up short and getting criticized for it. 

"Of course, we learned from our past. Yung mga criticism na kinain namin noon, hindi namin tinake as a negative, but we take it as a positive thing, and we worked our ass hard." said former ONE Lightweight World Champion Folayang. "Siyempre kaya may Baguio Jiu-Jitsu ngayon, kasi that’s how we do it. We keep on learning from other people that will help us improve the things that we know we are weak on."

Making it even more memorable for Pacio, was the fact that one of the legends of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was there to see him pull that crazy submission off. 

According to Pacio, sixth-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and grappling royalty Renzo Gracie, who was scheduled to fight later on in the card, gave the young Pinoy some props after the win. 

"Ayun nga, sa dugout kanina, na-amaze siya. Nagpa-picture siya sa akin," Pacio said jokingly, drawing laughs from the media. "Baliktad, nagpa-picture ako sa kanya, tapos tinuro niya din yung depensa nun."

Quite the moment for the kid they call "The Passion.

"Syempre napaka-laki, kasi once-in-a-lifetime lang yun."

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