BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – 20-year-old Joshua Pacio of Baguio City’s famed Team Lakay is back in the gym following his heartbreaking setback to ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito last Friday, October 7 in Myanmar. Pacio dominated the champion for two and a half rounds before a mental lapse cost him the fight as Naito was able to latch on a rear naked choke submission to force the tap.
Pacio is still a young fighter however with his entire career ahead of him. His performance proved that he is the real deal and is one of the top fighters in the division despite the loss.
An extremely hard worker, Pacio hits the gym every day whether he is training for a fight or not and some local fans believe he is the hardest worker in the group.
With Pacio’s loss to Naito, only lightweight contender Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is left to challenge for a world title in mixed martial arts. Teammates Kevin Belingon and Geje Eustaquio both fell short of their title bids in the past two years, while former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario lost his title via knockout to Koji Oishi a couple of years back.
Folayang is set to go head-to-head against ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki on November 11 in Singapore. Folayang gets the chance to become Team Lakay’s one and only world champion in MMA, joining Filipino-American Brandon “The Truth” Vera as the Philippines’ only world title holders.
As 2016 comes to a close, ONE Championship has three events left on its calendar. Following the ONE: Defending Honor in Singapore is an event in Manila on December 2 and an event in Bangkok, Thailand on December 17, however no Filipino fighters have been confirmed for either card aside from Vera who is the headliner for Manila.
Video courtesy of Rhene Ben Buada/Fight Game Asia