Joshua Pacio ecstatic for ONE Championship’s return to Manila

It’s a double celebration for ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio.

Not only will the Filipino star defend his world title against no.1 contender Jarred Brooks, but his next match inside the Circle will also be in front of his home fans in Manila at ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks.

Their epic clash is set to take place at Mall of Asia Arena on December 3.

Pacio, who’s easily the greatest strawweight in ONE Championship history, said he’s excited to finally fight in Manila and in front of a raucous crowd at that.

“Finally after almost two years, ONE Championship is back here in the Philippines! I’m really excited because the last time I fought there was no audience and hopefully there will be one when we do the event here in the Philippines,” Pacio said.

The last time Pacio fought inside the Circle was during the culmination of his trilogy against Yosuke Saruta at ONE: Revolution in December 2021. The Team Lakay star was an unstoppable force at Singapore Indoor Stadium knocking out Saruta in a flurry of punches in just the first round.

Pacio added that he’s soaking all of the pressure heading into his world title defense against Brooks, a man who’s 3-0 in ONE Championship and has been dominance personified during his run in the organization.

“It motivates me even more because I’ll be defending my world title in front of my countrymen and I hope that I won’t be the only fighter from the gym to fight in this card. I wish that there’d be five or even six of us from Team Lakay so that it’ll be an awesome experience.”

Pacio is on a four-fight winning streak with all of those victories coming in world title fights. The last time he fought in the Philippines was in the third fight of that run.

The 26-year-old scored a split decision win over former world champion Alex Silva at ONE: Fire and Fury in January 2020, which was the last event ONE Championship staged in Manila.

Author: Fight Game Asia

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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