‘I Plan On Finishing Pacio Early’ – Mansur Malachiev Aims To Earn World Title Shot At ONE Fight Night 15
The undefeated Russian will face #1-ranked Pacio in U.S. primetime this Friday, October 6, and their matchup presents him with a massive opportunity.
Malachiev earned the #5 contender spot with a dominant first-round submission of Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado in his ONE debut this past June.
The stakes will be much higher when he meets Pacio at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, but the 31-year-old from Dagestan believes he is more than ready for the biggest fight of his career against the Filipino superstar.
He told onefc.com:
“I feel good. I’m fired up for this fight. He’s an experienced fighter and was the World Champion in ONE, so I’m training hard to beat him.
“A win over Pacio would be a major win for me on my way to the big goal – the ONE belt. My opponent is number one in the division, and a win over him would bring me closer to a World Title fight.”
Pacio is one of the most seasoned strawweight MMA competitors in ONE, with five World Title wins against the top names in the weight class.
Coming from a wushu background at the famed Team Lakay, “The Passion” now competes out of Lions Nation MMA with many of his former teammates.
Malachiev certainly respects his opponent’s experience and stand-up game, but he thinks his own specialties – namely elite wrestling and grappling – will be too much for Pacio to handle:
“In his arsenal, he has striking and very good wrestling defense, but my wrestling is on a whole different level. We’ll see if he can defend against it.
“I have been honing my skills for years among the best wrestlers in Dagestan. I’m experienced enough to out-wrestle anyone, and Pacio is no exception.”
Malachiev Eager To Challenge Strawweight King Jarred Brooks
Brimming with confidence from his 11-0 record and successful ONE debut, Mansur Malachiev believes he can rip through Joshua Pacio and prove he’s ready for anyone.
He’s not the kind of fighter who likes to take his time – scoring nine finishes in his MMA career to date – and he’s aiming for more of the same this Friday at ONE Fight Night 15.
“I think I have all the skills to win. I’m ready for all three rounds, but I plan on finishing Pacio early. I’ll tell [the fans] not to blink as it’s going to be a very entertaining and beautiful fight.”
Malachiev is determined to challenge for the ONE Strawweight MMA World Title, and Pacio might be the only hurdle standing in his way.
While he’s focused on the task at hand, the Russian grappler also sees himself as a tough stylistic test for reigning divisional king Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks – and he’s already caught the American wrestler’s eye.
The always confident Brooks hasn’t bitten his tongue, either, saying Malachiev is like a “lower-class version” of himself. But for his part, the #5 contender is motivated to silence “The Monkey God” if they meet in the future:
“My goal is the belt, and I don’t care who my opponent is going to be. But since I’m fighting the number one [contender in the division], I want to fight Jarred Brooks, the champion, next.
“He’s been talking too much about me, and I want to show him what I can do, and then take the belt. He’s never met a fighter like me before. Once I get to him, he’ll realize he’s just a loudmouth.”