ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is one perfect example of an athlete who has grown up competing on the biggest stage in martial arts.
With 17 bouts under his resume including two World Titles he captured in just the age of 23, in his young age, Pacio has learned a lot since making his professional debut back in 2013.
For Pacio, martial arts has taught him a lot of lessons in life but these values have played a pivotal factor in shaping his character as an athlete and as a person, especially after losing his title last January.
For the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion, there are two specific qualities that he found very important during his martial arts journey— dedication and focus.
“It’s easy for a person to say that he wants to be a champion, but the moment they experience hardships, they stop. This is where our determination comes in,” said Pacio.
“We need to embrace the challenges, problems and losses, and we need to continue to train and improve, I think those are the factors why we became champions.”
In a short period of time, Pacio has climb up the ONE Championship’s strawweight ranks like a speeding bullet.
He made his promotional debut in April 2016, and just after 29 months, he won his first World Title in a dominating fashion, defeating Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito via unanimous decision in their rematch at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES back in September last year.
In his first title defense, Pacio lost his gold-platted strap to Japanese star Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta via split decision at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY in Indonesia last January, before reclaiming his World Title back with a scintillating fourth round knockout in their rematch at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR in Manila last month.
The Team Lakay phenom may have dropped his crown in his first defense as a World Champion, but the experience forced him to acknowledge his own shortcomings as a competitor.
“I learned a lot from those losses, particularly the one last January. For me, my biggest takeaway is how I should never lose focus in anything,” Pacio explained.
“No matter how experienced your opponent is, regardless if he is older than you – you have to remain focused on your goal, trust your training, your hardwork, trust your team and your coach.”
With the ONE Strawweight World Title back in the mountains, Pacio believes that even he is coming off the biggest win of his mixed martial arts career, the task of retaining the belt for a long time is another tough assignment that he needs to take.
“As a champion athlete, it’s our job to always stay ahead and look for improvements,” Pacio said. “There are a lot of athletes who are looking at us as the barometer and they continue to be better each day. That’s why I always need to be better.”