IS ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio the new face of Philippine mixed martial arts?
It's easy to assume that as the 25-year-old fighter remains the last Filipino champion standing in the promotion.
But Pacio shunned those tags and insisted that as decorated as he is at a young age, he still has ways to go before he can ascend to the heights reached by the likes of Brandon "The Truth" Vera and Eduard "Landslide" Folayang.
"I'm still young and I think I'm still far from the level of kuya Eduard or kuya Brandon," he said.
Pacio said he's not putting a lot of pressure on himself, keeping his focus on improving himself in anticipation for his next title defense.
"I don't feel any pressure because that’s not what's in my head right now," said Pacio, who last fought in January 2020 when he retained his crown against Alex Silva with a split decision win at ONE: Fire & Fury.
"Instead, I’m more focused on improving my skills and I'm more focused on what to bring next inside the ONE Circle," he said.
Pacio knows he has yet to reach his peak and he has a lot more mountains to climb.
"I’m not on my peak yet," said the young Team Lakay bet.
"Give us three to five years more and you can see a very different Joshua Pacio. Right now, I'm more focused on honing up our game and growing even a single percent everyday."