ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio captures ONE Strawweight World Title in Jakarta
Santino Honasan on Sep 23, 2018 12:50 AM
Joshua Pacio captures the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a decision win over Yoshitaka Naito in Jakarta (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
The second time was the charm for Team Lakay strawweight star Joshua "The Passion" Pacio as he defeated Yoshitaka Naito to capture the ONE Strawweight World Championship at ONE: Conquest of Heroes in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Pacio executed a near-flawless first round, as he managed to stuff all of Naito's takedown attempts, while picking the former champion apart in the striking department. Midway through the round, Pacio buried a vicious body kick, forcing Naito to fight for survival. Naito managed to survive into the second round.
More of the same from Pacio in the second round, stuffing a deep takedown attempt from Naito and transitioning into side control. Naito found a bit of success late in the round however, as he found himself inside Pacio's guard, gaining dominant position for the first time in the bout.
Naito took Pacio down quickly in the third round, but it didn't take long for Pacio to get back up. The Japanese grappler pressed the issue again and managed to bring Pacio down for a second time in the round. The Pinoy maintained activity from the bottom as he continued to punish Naito with punches and elbows as the latter tried to find dominant position.
After striking with Pacio, Naito went to his bread and butter once more in the fourth round, taking Pacio down and imposing his will on the ground. Pacio continued to defend well, but couldn't quite escape from the former champion's grasp.
In the final round, Naito was relentless as he took Pacio down again and keep him down to end the fight on a strong note.
After five rounds of action, Pacio did enough on the judges scorecards to earn a unanimous decision victory.
“I’m speechless, but I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ, and ONE Championship for the privilege and this unexplainable feeling." Pacio said after the bout. "I would like to thank my coach Mark Sangiao, who is here, and all our coaches, friends and sponsors. They had our back since day one."
Pacio was able to exorcise the demons of their 2016 bout, which saw Naito win via third round submission.
"I tried to counter his (Naito’s) takedowns and grappling, but this guy is a legend. He was so tough.” Pacio said of the former titleholder.
With the title win, Pacio becomes Team Lakay’s third current reigning ONE world champion and the seventh Filipino to hold a ONE world championship.
He improves to 16-2 in his professional career.