JOSHUA Pacio has shown that he has the talent and the skills to hang with the best mixed martial artists in Asia.
Now it’s all about finding consistency.
Pacio’s tough road back to the ONE Strawweight title continues when he takes on Chinese Ming Qiang Lan in the co-main event of Global Superheroes set on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 22-year old stalwart out of the fabled Team Lakay had his first crack at the title when he faced ex-titlist Yoshitaka Naito in 2016 and for most parts of the bout, he was looking good.
However, a costly mistake in the third round was all the crafty Naito to submit Pacio and retain the title.
It has been an up-and-down ride since then for Pacio as he came away with a big victory over former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke before succumbing to Hayato Suzuki via submission August of last year.
Now, the soft-spoken Pacio is fresh off a devastating knockout win over fellow Filipino Roy Doliguez and he hopes to keep that momentum going when he faces Lan, who took the fight on short notice.
“It’s all about consistency now,” said Pacio in Filipino. “I have to win it all if I want to be back in title contention. If I lose, I’d be back from scratch but I’ll work hard for it.”
Pacio was originally slated to fight rising Thai star Pongsiri Mitsatit in a battle between two exciting prospects in the organization but the Mitsatit had to pull out of the fight because of an injury.
Now he takes on Lan, who’s a Chinese National Wushu Sanda champion himself, setting the stage for an interesting clash of Wushu styles as Team Lakay is known for practicing Wushu Sanshou.
Either way, expect fireworks from the two Wushu practitioners.
“It will be tough against Lan because of his striking but I have faced some of the best strikers in the division as well,” a confident Pacio said.