January 29, 2023

Undisputed reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio said he welcomes any challenger looking for a crack at his world title.

This, as the 24-year-old Team Lakay standout admitted he will watch the bout between former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke of Thailand and Hexigetu (one name) of China in a three-round mixed martial arts contest at ONE: Reign of Dynasties on Oct. 9 in Singapore.

“This is going to be a very explosive matchup, given the two styles. They are both aggressive and like to lead the pace. Dejdamrong is an experienced athlete with years of competition on his résumé. Of course, he has some of the best stand-ups in the world, owing to his time in Thailand’s top Muay Thai circuits,” Pacio said.

“Hexigetu, meanwhile, is a very explosive and athletic fighter. That’s why I expect an exciting showdown between these two amazing athletes,” he added.

Pacio faced Dejdamrong in March 2017, winning by close split decision, so the former is extremely familiar with the veteran’s distinct style and characteristics. 

Despite Dejdamrong already being 41 years old and in the retirement age, Pacio feels the Thai warrior has enough left in the tank to beat Hexigetu and perhaps make his way back up the strawweight ladder.

“I don’t think age really matters as long as you still have that drive and desire to compete against the best,” Pacio said.

In the main event, reigning ONE strawweight Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand will defend his title against top contender Josh Tonna of Australia. – Harley F. Palangchao