One-time title challenger Joshua Pacio believes his road back to the title begins with a victory over former champ Amnuaysirichoke.
Last November, Joshua Pacio (11-1 MMA, 2-1 ONE) was unsuccessful in his first title bid in Myanmar. The 21-year old strawweight had a good start in his fight against champion Yoshitaka Naito (12-0 MMA, 2-0 ONE), winning the first two rounds until one mistake cost him the fight and saw his eleven-fight win streak came to an end.
In spite of the loss, Pacio takes it in stride. Although his first career defeat was a tough pill to swallow, it taught him valuable lessons. He takes it with him this weekend as he tries to bounce back when he faces Thailand’s own Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
“After nung last fight ko po, I think it is the biggest lesson sa aking career. Para sakin hindi naging downfall or naging hindrance yung pagkatalo kong yun.” Pacio shares with Dojo Drifter. “Mas triniple ko pa ang oras ko sa pagtre-training at naging motivation yun sa akin para i-improve pa yung skills ko to be a better fighter.”
“Of course nakita naman natin na na-submit ako sa last fight ko so ini-improve ko pa ang aking ground and wrestling game but of course kelangan i-balance lahat – striking, ground game and wrestling.”
Amnuaysirichoke (6-1) has built an impressive resume throughout his fight career. The 38-year old was first known in the Muay Thai ring where he claimed titles in two separate weight classes before transitioning to MMA in 2014. In the cage, DSA was able to replicate his success early. He won his first six fights en route to clinch the inaugural ONE FC 125-pound belt before eventually yielding to reigning champion Naito ten months ago.
Pacio knows how dangerous the Evolve MMA fighter is, especially on his feet. Adding to that is his vast wealth of experience that would pose a lot of problems for the young fighter. Still, he believes that he has the tools to thwart the former champion in his backyard.
“Alam nating lahat na si DSA ay three time Lumpinee muay thai champion at he has a lot of experience. Lumalaban na siya noong time na ipapanganak pa lang ako.” Joshua speaks highly of his opponent. “Pero gaya nga ng sabi ko, this is MMA and anything can happen. Pinaghandaan ko ang grappling and wrestling ko at of course ang conditioning ko.
“Matindi siyang striker pero para sa akin alam ko na mas lamang ako sa ground game and of course pinaghandaan ko din ang striking kasi hindi naman agad kami pupunta sa grappling position sa simula lang laban so pinaghandaan ko ang mga takedown set-ups.”
For the Team Lakay standout, this fight will be an all-important one for him. Not only to redeem his recent loss, but also to prove that he can match-up with the battle-tested veterans of his division. He is determined not to repeat the same mistakes and be able to get back into title contention.
“Napakaimportante po ang laban na ito kasi gusto ko pong ipakita sa aking mga coaches and family na kahit natalo man nung last fight ay never pa dn akong susuko hangga’t makamit ko ang aking pangarap na maging kampeon. Hindi ko man nakuha nung last fight, God has a better plan for me and I know its coming.”
“100 percent na naka-focus ako sa gameplan ko at sa laban kaya wala sa isipan ko ang homecourt advantage.” Joshua adds, “At alam ko kahit homecourt niya ang paglalabanan namin, kasama ko pa din ang Pilipinas sa loob ng cage na yun.”
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