Pacatiw, a veteran of 14 mixed martial arts fights, still remembers teammate Joshua “The Passion” Pacio‘s first appearance in the world’s largest martial arts organization, and on Friday, 30 July, he hopes to thrill the masses just like the reigning strawweight king.
“Being signed to ONE Championship is a dream come true. When I saw Joshua in his debut [five years ago], I told myself, ‘I want to be there and join him in that promotion,’” the 25-year-old Filipino says.
“I want to put on a good show. That’s the impression I want to leave in my ONE debut. I have to give it my all and put it all on the line so the fans and officials can enjoy what they’ll see.”
Pacatiw knows he’ll need to bring his best against an opponent like Chen.
The Chinese bantamweight star, who owns a 9-2 professional record, has ignited ONE Championship fans with his hard-hitting style and spectacular knockouts. And after falling to “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il in a Fight of the Year candidate in January, he’ll be even more motivated to leave the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a victory.
With that in mind, “The Juggernaut” has left no stone unturned while preparing at Team Lakay’s gym in Benguet.
“I had a good training camp. We’ve prepared well and we’ve worked hard to get that win on the 30th. As a martial artist, you have to work on all aspects. During that camp, I think we got everything covered, from striking to jiu-jitsu and grappling,” Pacatiw says.
“I wouldn’t want to underestimate my opponent, so I have to make sure everything is covered. I never stopped training, even during the pandemic. I really worked for it, so I expect this to be good.”
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Though he respects “The Ghost,” Pacatiw isn’t selling himself short.
In fact, the wushu-based competitor believes he is stronger in every aspect of mixed martial arts, and he is ready to fight wherever the action goes.
“His strength is more on the striking game, but I’m sure he’s trained himself in the ground, so we’ll see. I believe that I’m better, though,” Pacatiw states.
“If he wants to strike, I know I’m better and faster. If he wants to use his wrestling and turn this into a grappling contest, then I’m ready as well.”
Between his preparation, confidence, and insatiable hunger to make a name for himself on the global stage, it’s clear that Pacatiw is fully focused on leaving “The Lion City” with his hand raised.
For “The Juggernaut,” this bout is more than just a debut. It also represents the first step in his journey toward the ONE Bantamweight World Title.
“I need the win. I have to prove myself and I plan on using this match as a stepping stone for me to get to the top,” he says.
“In the next match, I have to win, and then win again in the match after. In the future, I want to face the bantamweight stars and win the World Title.
“I don’t care if it’s a decision win, if I knock him out, or submit him. The most important thing is to win. That’s the mindset, to win at all costs.”