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    Defiant Joshua Pacio out to break Team Lakay's 'trilogy curse'

    Sep 17, 2021
    Pacio vs Saruta 2
    PHOTO: marlo cueto

    REIGNING ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio would rather not hear anything about the "trilogy curse" of Team Lakay in the leadup to his third fight against Yosuke Saruta at ONE: Revolution next Friday.

    "Para sa akin, di ako naniniwala sa ganun," he said during Friday's media day. "Basta I'm confident na I'm 100-percent ready."

    Pacio may not be a believer, but history says otherwise.

    Geje Eustaquio lost his ONE flyweight world championship to Adriano Moraes via unanimous decision in their third fight at ONE: Hero's Ascent in January 2019.

    Kevin Belingon was disqualified in his third duel against Bibiano Fernandes to lose the ONE Bantamweight world championship in ONE: A New Era in March 2019, before suffering a second-round submission loss in October at ONE: Century Part 2 in their fourth faceoff.

    Joshua Pacio

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    Former ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang also suffered a first-round submission loss to longtime rival Shinya Aoki in their third fight at ONE on TNT 4 just last April.

    Pacio remains defiant.

    "Sabi nila na sa trilogy, doon tayo nadadali. But I'm ready to break the curse," he said.

    Pacio will have to back up his words as he vowed to be a more improved version of the fighter who faced Saruta in their match two years ago.

    But on paper alone, the 25-year-old appears to have the upper hand in this matchup.

    In their last duel, Pacio caught Saruta with a brutal knee to the head to score the fourth-round knockout and reclaim the belt back in April 2019.

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      Although it's been 20 months now since Pacio last fought, he maintained that he has kept tabs of Saruta.

      "Alam ko na nag-improve si Saruta base sa mga laban niya kay [Yoshitaka] Naito at Daichi [Kitakata] at malaki talaga ang inimprove niya, so kailangan ko rin mag-improve," he said.

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      "Alam ko na gusto niyang bumawi sa nangyari sa kanya ng rematch namin, na gusto niya tanggalin yung fighting spirit ko. Gusto niya gawin yun sa akin, pero di natin hahayaan yun na mangyari. You can never break an Igorot warrior's fighting spirit."

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      PHOTO: marlo cueto
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