ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is in the final stretch of his preparation as he gears up for his first title defense.
Pacio is set to take on Japanese contender Yosuke Saruta in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY
, which takes place at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on 19 January.
The 23-year-old phenom from Baguio City, Philippines can’t wait to strut his wares anew in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“The training is doing very well. We are just solidifying our strategies before we fly to Jakarta,” Pacio stated.
“Of course, we still have a solid game plan in place, and that’s going to be a huge key to victory. I have the best team behind me and the best coach.”
“The Passion” was originally scheduled to put his intricately-crafted belt on the line against Hayato Suzuki of Japan. However, the latteri was forced to withdraw from the contest early in December due to an injury.
While Pacio wanted to even the score with Suzuki, he has no problem preparing for a different opponent.
“I was glad that Yosuke answered ‘yes’ to the title match on the Jakarta card with me,” he said.
“I always look for a moment to test my skills, especially on the ground. This is the perfect moment.”
Although he remains confident that he can perform to the best of his ability, Pacio is far from complacent, knowing that anything can happen in a bout.
“I don’t like predicting how fights will end because, in this game, anything can happen. All I can say is that I’m going to follow our game plan strictly because I know, in the end, it’s what will bring victory,” he shared.
“Whether that victory comes by knockout, submission, or decision, I will let the fight dictate that. We’ll see how it goes.”
One thing that he can promise to the thousands of his Filipino supporters is that he will be coming into the contest in the best shape of his life.
“It’s going to be a tough fight, for sure. I’m coming into this fight, as usual, in the best shape,” he guaranteed.
Whether the bout turns into a slugfest or a tactical five-round bout, Pacio is all geared up for whatever Saruta brings to the table.
“The way I fight, my style is very fast-paced with constant movement. To be able to maintain my pace, I have to be in great physical condition,” he explained.
“We have worked extensively on my conditioning, and I’m prepared for a five-round war.”