March 22, 2023

Team Lakay has long envisioned this new generation of fighters from its stable, and who is better to lead the parade than the reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio?
The 25-year-old is the last remaining champion from the Philippines, and a fitting bridge from the past to the future as the Filipino fighters strive to remain as one of the best signed under the ONE Championship banner.
Pacio has welcomed the role of a torch bearer and is beaming with excitement with what the future holds for their camp.
“Of course, we are very happy with where we are right now and I really believe that this is the fruit of our hard toiling. Still, we intend to prove that we’re here to stay,” he said, slowly shifting from being the youngest to a big brother for his fellow young turks in Team Lakay.
“I’m just so excited for everyone to see what my teammates are made of. I’m excited to see Stephen Loman, Danny Kingad, Jeremy Pacatiw, Jenelyn Olsim, and Jhanlo Mark Sangiao get back inside the ONE circle and really show what they can do because I have no doubt that they will become champions, too, in the near future.”
Pacio, however, knows aside from the responsibility of being a senior in their camp, he also has to keep his spot as the top dog in his weight class, as he prepares for the much-awaited trilogy against archrival Yosuke Saruta at ONE: Revolution. The trilogy fight is ongoing as of press time.
It’s a fight Pacio has long wanted, yet one he understood must be done given the history between them and their respective spots in the ladder.
Years ago, Pacio reclaimed the belt in thunderous fashion, connecting with a killer head kick that put Saruta to sleep to once again become the ONE strawweight world champion.
Although he knows it’s still up to ONE Championship to decide who would be the next in line, he couldn’t help but play the role of a fantasy booker, especially with the amount of talent chomping on his tail. – Harley F. Palangchao