YOUNG Joshua Pacio looks to silence doubters as he goes for an MMA title in when he battles strawweight champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito in ONE: State of Warriors on Friday in Yangon, Myanmar.
Pacio, 20, is confident he has what it takes to stop Naito, a 32-year-old veteran undefeated in 11 bouts.
In May, Angela Lee won the One Atomweight title over Mei Yamaguchi, while Joe Soto was 22 when he won the Bellator featherweight belt.
“Confident ako. Marami rin nagsasabi na bata pa ako para doon sa title fight na ’yun pero hindi ko na iniisip ’yun,” said Pacio.
“Iniisip ko na chance ko na ’to. Big opportunity para sa akin. Ginrab ko agad ’yung opportunity,” he added.
The 5-foot-4 Pacio said he has been building stamina so he can last five full rounds, and working on new techniques to overcome Naito’s ground game.
“Pinagbuti ko ’yung strength and conditioning ko lalo na sa cardio. Pinaghandaan ko rin ’yung ground game at wrestling defense kasi doon magaling kalaban ko,” said Pacio.
Pacio also looks to his advantages against Naito in tabbing the ONE title.
“Ang nakikita kong advantage is ’yung striking game,” said Pacio, who has recorded knockout wins by punches but has also chalked up victories by submission.
Unbeaten in eight professional fights, Pacio is coming off a submission victory over Kritsada Kongsrichai two months ago in ONE: Heroes of the World.