Pacio respects title contender
If Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio wants to hang on to his strawweight world title at ONE: Fire & Fury, he will have to defeat the most dangerous grappler he has ever faced.
The 24-year-old Pacio will kick off 2020 by attempting to defend his belt against former world champion Alex Silva of Brazil in home turf in the main event of ONE: Fire & Fury at the Mall of Asia Arena Jan. 31.
Though Pacio is on a high after a stellar year that saw him climb back to the top of his division and defend the gold for the first time, he expects a huge test from his upcoming opponent.
“He’s in an amazing team with Evolve, he’s been a champion, and he has always been a top contender, so I expect this to be really tough,” Pacio said.
Despite his ever-improving grappling, which he demonstrated with his arm-triangle choke of Rene Catalan in his last match, Pacio is under no illusion that his expertise on the ground cannot match Silva’s.
It should be a different story in the striking exchanges, but the Team Lakay will not look past his opponent in that regard, either.
“He has improved in his striking but we could still see some holes in it. Sometimes he gets wobbled, though, to his credit, he always recovers after getting dazed. He is a proven and tested warrior,” Pacio said.
With that said, Pacio will not rule out yet another highlight-reel conclusion in front of his home crowd, which seems to inspire him to deliver his most spectacular moments.
“Of course, we would be looking for a finish, but it will always depend on where the fight goes,” Pacio added. – ONE release