Representing Team Lakay, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 22, is ready and confident to challenge reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, 34, of Matsudo, Chiba, Japan in their rematch on September 22, 2018. They will headline “ONE: Conquest of Heroes” at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I think I will be able to shock him,” Pacio said of Naito. “I plan to show the champion that I am a completely different fighter this time. I have improved so much since we last saw each other, upgrading every skill on all fronts.”
The Team Lakay fighter said his striking is “more fluid” and his grappling is “heavily improved” now. He added that Naito should be prepared for what he will bring to the table.
“But knowing the champion, I can guarantee he is well-prepared and I have to be ready for the toughest test of my career,” Naito said of Pacio. “I plan to mix it up a lot more in this rematch and give him lots of different looks. One thing I can say is that I am a lot more comfortable going to the ground this time.”
Pacio was not able to dethrone Naito during their first encounter at “ONE: State of Warriors” at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on October 7, 2016. Every time the Team Lakay fighter was asked about his rematch with the Japanese champion after their first fight, the former would say he was not in a rush.
“When this fight was announced, it came out of nowhere,” Pacio stated. “I have always said that I would wait patiently for a title shot and face anyone that ONE Championship put in front of me. I have stayed true to my word and now, I’m ready to take on the champion again.”
“There is a lot of talent in my weight class and I know a lot of guys want a shot at the belt too,” the Team Lakay fighter continued. “But I have been preparing for this moment since our first fight. It’s still fresh in my mind and I have done everything I can to improve my skills to I can claim victory this time around.”
Meanwhile, here is Pacio during his most recent ONE Championship win: