The work does not stop for ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, despite the holiday season.
The 22-year-old champion, who captured the belt in style against Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito in September, was all set to face more Japanese opposition in the form of top contender Hayato Suzuki at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY on 19 January.
However, an opponent change has meant that Pacio has had to refocus his approach for a new challenger in his first contest of 2019.
Will Joshua Pacio keep Team Lakay's streak going in 2019?Jakarta | 19 January | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneglory19
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, December 23, 2018
Pacio will now look to make the first defense of his ONE Strawweight World Title against Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in the main event in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Team Lakay star says he is remaining steadfast in his commitment to his preparations, despite the distractions of the festive period.
“It’s the sacrifice that I have to do because it’s my first title defense,” says Pacio.
“On Christmas, I’ll still be with my family, but the day after, I’ll be back to training again.”
Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao says his young charge’s intensity level in the gym will not need to be raised, as his application and commitment in training is already at an impressively high level.
Sangiao says it is one of the reasons why Pacio has made it all the way to the top of ONE Championship.
Mark your calendars! Joshua Pacio's first strawweight World Title defense goes down in less than a month Jakarta | 19 January | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneglory19
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, December 21, 2018
“The thing with Joshua is he’s already preparing even before the fight was announced. He’s always in shape,” says Sangiao.
“That’s why I am not worried about him. He’s going to continue his training even during the holidays.”
Saruta is not unknown to Pacio and his Team Lakay colleagues. The Japanese contender was already on the team’s radar after securing an impressive victory over former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS on 7 December.
And being a true martial artist, Pacio says he acknowledges the need to adapt and improvise to deal with the ever-changing challenges of being a martial arts champion.
“As a martial artist, you need to adapt. It has already happened to me in the past, and I was able to adapt through it. The game plan will be changed, but that’s okay,” he says.
“It’s better now because there are still weeks to prepare.”
Joshua Pacio's stunning ONE debut!Jakarta | 19 January | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneglory19
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, December 13, 2018
Hailing from Baguio City’s Team Lakay, Pacio knows he will receive the best possible preparation for his maiden title defense, as the squad boasts an incredible four ONE World Champions.
While the name of the opponent may have changed, Pacio says it is business as usual as he continues his preparations ahead of his main event assignment.
“The training is going fine,” he said, in typically understated fashion.
“Now it’s all about peaking at the right time in training.”