Alex “Little Rock” Silva, 37, of Ubatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil will challenge reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, of Baguio City, Philippines at “ONE: Fire and Fury.” The challenger trains out of Evolve MMA in Singapore while the defending champion represents Team Lakay, which is based in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines.
ONE Championship will hold “ONE: Fire and Fury” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on January 31, 2019. The title bout between Silva and Pacio is the main event.
“2020 is going to be a huge year for me, starting with my first title defense of the year against Alex Silva,” Pacio stated. “He’s a tremendous grappler and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt so I have to be careful and make sure my ground game is on point.”
“ONE: Fire and Fury” is the first ONE Championship event to take place in the Philippines in 2020. Including Pacio, five Team Lakay fighters are on the card.
“I think at 23, I’m just going to keep getting better every day,” Pacio said. “I’m always in training and working on perfecting my skills.”
Given Silva’s impressive grappling pedigree, Pacio understands that his Brazilian challenger, a former ONE Strawweight World Champion, could be his toughest challenge yet. But the young Team Lakay warrior remains confident of victory and will head into the bout well-prepared.
“At this level, there’s not a lot of separation between fighters,” Pacio said. “Everyone is talented and has their own strengths and weaknesses. The only thing is that, as a champion, every opponent I face is a hungry lion wanting to take my throne.”
“They want the belt and every challenge is tough,” Pacio continued. “That’s why I have to remain focused and make sure these guys don’t beat me.”