When ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio returns to the ONE Championship Circle, his opponent may know exactly what to expect from him.
But actually, that’s something Pacio wants to avoid.
The Filipino star returns to action when he takes on Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta to complete their trilogy at ONE: REVOLUTION on September 24, and Pacio plans to enter the cage a different fighter.
“The goal has always been to be a true well-rounded athlete. That’s why I’m working on the facets of my game, covering everything from my striking to my wrestling to my grappling,” Pacio said.
“That gives me confidence knowing that I’m more equipped in handling him now.”
Having a new skill set, or surprising his opponent with a new point of attack, could certainly help the Team Lakay star in this clash. After all, they’re really familiar with each other.
The pair of strawweights first squared off in January of 2019, when Saruta outlasted Pacio in a five-round chess match.
Less than three months later, Pacio got his revenge by knocking Saruta out cold with a well-timed knee to the head, much to the delight of the sold out Mall Of Asia Arena crowd.
Now they meet again, and Pacio knows that he’s not the only one who has gotten better.
“As much as I’ve improved, I know that he’s improved so much as well,” Pacio said.
“You’ll see two different athletes who will bring new things to the table this time around. I can’t say anything, but expect fireworks in this match.”
The key for Pacio now is to trust his coach, Mark Sangiao, and not get fixated on looking for a finish. He knows that the opening will come, but he’d rather wait for it instead of forcing it.
But whatever happens in the match, Pacio’s certain he’s getting his hand raised at the end.
“It’s all about following your game plan to a tee. I don’t think looking for a knockout or a finish would do me well. I just have to stick to my game plan and execute,” Pacio said.
“At the end of the day, the announcement will be, ‘And still!’”
ONE Championship returns to live action with ONE: REVOLUTION on September 24. Catch all the ONE Championship action by downloading the ONE Super App.
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