ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, of Baguio City, Philippines will defend his belt against countryman Rene “The Challenger” Catalan, 40, at “ONE: Masters of Fate” on November 8, 2019. Recently, the reigning champion representing Team Lakay talked about the strengths and weaknesses of the challenger.
“Sir Rene has been doing this for a very long time even before I started taking up the sport,” Pacio said. “His greatest strength would be his wushu striking and I would not consider his ground game to be his weakness as we have seen in his past bouts. In his tenure as a martial artist, he was able to develop his other skills and that is why I have a huge level of respect for him.”
ONE Championship will hold “ONE: Masters of Fate” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Featured on the fight card are 11 mixed martial arts matches and three Muay Thai contests.
“I mentioned before in an interview that I want to take him out in the first three rounds,” Pacio said. “It is something I am determined to accomplish, and I know that he plans to do the same. He has been working hard for this opportunity and I am not willing to let go of this title.”
Team Lakay has been instrumental in Pacio’s growth as an athlete and as a human being. The team has instilled ethical values and taught him everything he knows, eventually leading him to the golden strap.
“I will do everything I can to defend my title and show the world the fighting spirit of Team Lakay,” Pacio declared. “We failed to have the same success as we had last year but I am not going to fail my family in Team Lakay on 8 November. This is my time and my title, and I am not going to lose it again.”
Currently, Pacio is the only reigning ONE Championship champion in Team Lakay. His teammates Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 30, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 31, and Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, previously reigned as the champions of the promotion’s flyweight, bantamweight and lightweight divisions, respectively. Here is a clip featuring the Igorot MMA fighters: