ONE: Continuous improvement is what Joshua Pacio aspires for
Santino Honasan on Nov 22, 2019 03:11 PM
“Basta gusto ko lang na makita na every fight, nag-iimprove ako, yung hindi the same yung Joshua Pacio na lumaban ngayon, iba ulit sa next. Yun yung gusto kong makitang improvement,” - Joshua Pacio (Photo: Richard Esguerra)
After successfully defending his ONE Strawweight World Championship against Rene Catalan at ONE: Masters of Fate back in November 8th, Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio is no doubt the top guy in ONE’s strawweight division.
At just 23 years old, Pacio is already a two-time titleholder and owns victories over Catalan, Yoshitaka Naito, Yosuke Saruta, and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke just to name a few. To add to that, he’s also finished his opponent in five of his last six wins.
It can be argued that Pacio is at the peak of his powers, but the young star believes that he still has even more to show and aspires for constant and continuous improvement.
While there isn’t anything on deck for the reigning strawweight king at the moment, he won’t be taking too much time off from training anytime soon, and that’s because he wants to present an even better version of himself when he does step inside the Circle again. Pacio hopes to be on ONE Championship’s first card in Manila for 2020.
“Sa akin, yung tinatawag niyong break is magte-training pa din ako, kasi sa January 31, kung sakali,” he said with a chuckle. “Kung sino man yung iharap nila, hindi ako namimili ng kalaban.”
“Basta gusto ko lang na makita na every fight, nag-iimprove ako, yung hindi the same yung Joshua Pacio na lumaban ngayon, iba ulit sa next. Yun yung gusto kong makitang improvement,” he continued.
At this stage, Pacio is already arguably one of the most well-rounded members of Team Lakay, and that was on full display in the Catalan fight. So what kind of improvement does Pacio want to see in himself?
The young star aspires to be as skilled and as fluid inside the ring as Demetrious Johnson, the reigning ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion.
“Siyempre isa sa mga idolo natin si DJ, magaling mag-mix eh. Yung gusto ko talagang i-improve yung talgang comfortable ka sa lahat, may striking, may wrestling, tapos striking ulit, tapos wrestling, tapos control sa ground,” Pacio explained. “Yun yung gusto kong maabot na improvement na makita ko, yung kahit na five rounds na ganun, okay pa din.”
A former long-time world champion in the UFC, Johnson was at one point regarded as the pound-for-pound best mixed martial artist in the world. Now with ONE Championship, Johnson continues to remain dominant, winning his first three ONE bouts - the third being against Pacio’s teammate and training partner Danny Kingad - en route to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix title and a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship.
Speaking of flyweights, is a move up to that division in the future for the reigning strawweight king? According to the Pacio himself, there isn’t any motivation for him to do so, especially with teammates Kingad and Geje Eustaquio residing in that weight class.
“Para sa akin, wala eh, kasi I am a champion, pero para sa akin, kung wala sana akong teammates sa ibang weight class.”
“Siyempre, sa kanila na din yun, they deserve also to become a champion. Nagwowork-hard kaming lahat, so deserve din nilang lahat maging champion, so sa kanila na yun,” Pacio concluded.