ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio sacrifices the holidays to train for first world title defense in January
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 02, 2019 10:24 AM
"On Christmas Eve, I spent it with my family, but the day after, I was back in training." (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Joshua "The Passion" Pacio took no time-off during the holidays as he continues to grind at the gym in preparation for the first defense of his ONE Strawweight World Championship against Yosuke Saruta.
The 22-year-old phenom from Baguio City is slated to battle the veteran Japanese mixed martial artist in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY, which takes place at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on 19 January.
Pacio's commitment to his craft is unparalleled as he had to give up spending the Christmas season with his family to fully focus on his training.
"It’s the sacrifice that I have to do because it’s my first title defense," he said. "On Christmas Eve, I spent it with my family, but the day after, I was back in training."
Pacio was originally scheduled to lock horns with Hayato Suzuki at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY, but the latter was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury.
Saruta was eventually tapped to replace Suzuki in the main event with the task to duke it out with Pacio for the prestigious world title.
A sudden replacement of opponent could disrupt the course of an athlete's training, but Pacio merely shrugged it off, citing that a mixed martial artist should have the ability to adjust.
"As a martial artist, you need to adapt. It has already happened to me in the past, and I was able to adapt through it," he explained. "The game plan will be changed, but that’s okay. It’s better now because there are still weeks to prepare."
With 20 days to go before he clashes with Saruta inside the ONE Championship cage, Pacio cited that he is exactly where he needs to be in training.
"The training is going fine. Now it’s all about peaking at the right time in training," he shared. “Regardless of my opponent, I will do my best to defend my title successfully.”