Filipino Pacio faces Naito for ONE Championship strawweight title

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino prospect Joshua Pacio will have the opportunity to vie for the ONE Championship strawweight title as he is set to challenge division kingpin Yoshitaka Naito in the main event of the “State of Warriors” card on October 7. 

Pacio is undefeated in his 8 professional matches and has yet to go the distance in his 3-year prizefighting career, finishing his opponents by either knockout or submission. 

2016 has already been an outstanding year for the 20-year-old Baguio City native as he made his successful ONE Championship debut in April by scoring a second-round technical knockout of compatriot Rabin Catalan before he submitted Thailand’s Kritsada Kongsrichai with a first-round rear-naked choke last August.

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao spoke highly of Pacio in a recent interview with Rappler and stressed that he could be the next big thing in the Philippine MMA scene.

“I honestly believe that Joshua could be the next big star of Philippine MMA. He has that potential. But of course, he should maintain his current work ethic to get into that position,” Sangiao said. 

Like Pacio, Naito also has his own winning streak as he is unbeaten in his 11 outings as a prizefighter.

The 32-year-old Japanese captured the ONE Championship strawweight title by defeating Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke by way of fourth-round submission this past May. 

Prior to his stint in the Singapore-based mixed martial arts organization, Naito was a stable of the Japanese promotion Shooto, where he had 10 bouts in his 3-year run and once held the company’s flyweight title.

ONE: State of Warriors is scheduled to take place at the Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. –