Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is one of the most exciting talents in ONE Championship.
The 22-year-old Filipino wushu star has been competing in the upper echelon of the strawweight division ever since his arrival in April 2016, and though he was unsuccessful in his first World Championship bid, his continued improvement has kept him in the title picture.
This coming Saturday, 22 September, he will get a second chance to win the gold. He is scheduled to challenge reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito in a main-event rematch at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Before this explosive match-up goes down, check out four of Pacio’s finest finishes.
A Nightmare For “Dream Man”
Filipino phenom Joshua Pacio showcased an incredible ground game against famed Thai wrestler Kritsada Kongsrichai.Manila | 27 July | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onekings18
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, July 21, 2018
The battle saw the explosive Thai use forward pressure and his elite wrestling pedigree to smother “The Passion.” Also, when the pair engaged in the clinch, “Dream Man” leaned on his Muay Thai expertise and threw knees into his opponent’s midsection.
However, deep into the opening stanza, the Baguio City, Philippines-based competitor used Kongsrichai’s body lock against him, as he forced him backwards to the canvas and landed in mount.
After a flurry of ground strikes made the Thai turn away, Pacio cinched in a rear-naked choke. He forced the tap with only 23 seconds left in round one. That led to his first shot at the ONE Strawweight World Championship two months later.
A Sensational Spinning Knockout
Flawless spinning back fist KO!Manila | 27 July | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onekings18
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, July 19, 2018
When Pacio met former ONE World Title challenger and professional boxer, Roy “The Dominator” Doliguez, at ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD last November, he was expected to use his grappling to nullify his fellow compatriot’s world-class punching ability.
“The Passion” indeed used his ground game to establish an early advantage over his opponent, but at the start of the second round, things changed dramatically when the pair engaged in the center of the cage.
With Doliguez looking to push the pace, the Team Lakay prodigy landed a low kick, then transitioned to a spectacular spinning back fist, which instantly knocked out “The Dominator.”
The highlight-reel finish was ranked fifth in “ONE Championship’s Knockouts Of The Year 2017,” and it set up Pacio for a stellar 2018.
Submitting The Chinese Sanda Champion
Joshua Pacio has "The Passion" for highlight-reel finishes!Manila | 27 July | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onekings18
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, July 18, 2018
In January, at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, Pacio made good on his pre-bout promise that he would submit Chinese Sanda Champion Lan Ming Qiang with a rear-naked choke in the first stanza of their strawweight clash.
The Filipino quickly caught his opponent’s low kick, and then took his adversary to the mat with a body lock takedown.
He transitioned to full mount, scored with ground strikes, and punished the Chinese striker on the canvas until an opportunity presented itself for “The Passion” to secure the rear-naked choke.
Lan tried his best to defend, but Pacio was too clever, and he forced the tap in the final minute of the opening round.
Finishing The Unbeaten Thai Warrior
Joshua Pacio pulled off this WILD submission at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, July 30, 2018
Pacio’s most recent performance saw him unveil his secret weapon – “The Passion Lock,” which he used to submit then-undefeated Thai contender Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS in July.
Many believed the Team Lakay standout would rely on his famed wushu skills to try and outgun Mitsatit’s extraordinary Muay Thai striking, but he had other ideas.
Similar to his last bout, the Filipino caught his Thai rival’s low kick, and then slammed him onto the mat. Pacio quickly transitioned from side control to full mount, where he softened up “The Smiling Assassin” with punches and elbows.
As Mitsatit looked to escape, Pacio took the back mount and tried for a rear-naked choke. When that failed, he switched gears by grabbing the Thai’s left arm and twisting it into a modified Kimura shoulder lock until he felt the tap.
It was an outstanding submission win, which ultimately positioned him for a second shot at the ONE Strawweight World Title.