February 2, 2023

Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio has joined the rank of the world’s 10 best pound-for-pound professional mixed martial artists in 2020 as rated by Black Belt magazine, one of the oldest and leading magazines dedicated to martial arts.

In no particular order, Black Belt magazine has chosen Pacio, along with four more fighters from ONE Championship, to be with the rank of elite fighters from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s leading MMA promotion.

“Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is one of the most exciting athletes in the sport today. Each time the Filipino steps inside the ONE circle, he is looking to add another finish to his impressive highlights reel as he continues to help grow the sport in the Philippines with each and every performance,” Black Magazine stated.

It added: “The Team Lakay representative is not just building his legacy in ONE, but in his homeland, as he becomes a bigger star and inspires a new generation.”

The 24-year-old Pacio only fought once this year where he nailed an impressive unanimous decision win against former ONE strawweight world champion Alex Silva to defend his title.

The Benguet native also had a successful campaign in 2019 with two back-to-back title defenses against fellow Filipino fighter Rene Catalan in November and Yosuke Saruta of Japan in April, when he recaptured the ONE gold strap.

Other fighters from ONE Championship listed by Black Belt magazine are former long-time UFC champion De-metrius Johnson, flyweight champion Adriano Moraes, and siblings Angela and Christian Lee, who are both champions in their respective divisions.

Fighters from UFC in the list are long-time champion Jon Jones, who is being considered as the “GOAT” (Greatest Of All Time) in MMA; former champion now retired Khabib Nurmaomedov; female champion Amanda Nunes; Israel Adesanya; and Stipe Miocic.

Referring to all the selected martial artists, Black Belt magazine said: “From divisional dominance to a seamless blending of techniques, these athletes showcase what they have to offer as we near the new year.” – Harley F. Palangchao