May 18, 2024

■  Harley F. Palangchao

ONE mixed martial art strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio will not defend his belt in the nearest future due to an injury.

Reports said Pacio, 28, has suffered an anterior cruclate ligament (ACL) tear in his right knee that he might have incurred during his recent championship bout with erstwhile champion Jarred Brooks in ONE 166 in Qatar on March 1.

HEALING TIME — It might take a year before ONE mixed martial arts strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio returns to action if his supposed ACL tear reconstruction surgery will push through. Pacio regained his belt when former American champion Jarred Brooks was disqualified during their championship bout in March. — ONE photo

The injury, reports said, might affect Pacio’s performance if he opts to defend his belt soon.

The camp of Pacio shared it decided to push through with the championship bout after a doctor who attended to the former during his training said he might have an injury.

The championship bout between Pacio and Brooks was cut short after the American was disqualified for illegal throw in the first round, landing the Igorot fighter head first on the mat.

Weeks after the bout, Pacio was informed by his physician that he has an ACL tear based on the result of his follow-up MRI to evaluate the condition of his neck.

To ensure that Pacio is in best form in his future fights, his camp at Lions Nation MMA has advised him to undergo reconstruction ACL surgery.

The longest recovery period for Pacio might take eight months to one year.

If Pacio is unable to defend his belt, ONE Championship might arrange a bout between two contenders for the interim ONE strawweight MMA belt.

Earlier, Pacio has assured fight fans he will recover fast and settle his unfinished business with Brooks.

This, as Pacio has acknowledged that his rivalry with the brash American inside the ONE circle is through a trilogy in the future.

Now with the series tied at 1-1, fans should expect a trilogy to happen at some point in the future.