After Demetrious Johnson bagged his special rules super-fight against Rodtang Jitmuangnon during ONE: X, many ONE Championship elite fighters came out calling the American legend for a special rules match,
Add Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio to the list.
The reigning strawweight champion did not watch the Johnson – Jitmuangnon fight to be just entertained like the rest of the world. He wanted to be a part of it, according to ONE.
In fact, “The Passion” was intrigued by the battle that he suggested his own mixed-rules clash.
The first round would be pure striking, round two is pure grappling, round three is pure wrestling, and the fourth under MMA rules.
“That would be great, right? I want to feel that. And not only me, Lito [Adiwang] and Danny [Kingad] also want to experience it”, said Pacio to ONE.
The Johnson – Jitmuangnon fight featured alternating rounds of Muay Thai and MMA, starting with Muay Thai in the first round
Further, Pacio went on to suggest a 12-minute pure grappling match as another alternative, an unusual proposal coming form the fighter arising from a gym generally known for being a striking specialist.
“I want to test myself against him in a straight 12-minute grappling match. I think that would be the most unforgettable 12 minutes of my life. I’ll prepare for it. I’ll make sure that it won’t be a walk in the park, and I’m excited to showcase my grappling skills against him. At the same time, I’ll also learn from the GOAT.”, Pacio shared.
There is no doubt the willingness to challenge the grappling legend on his own turf exhibits how Pacio has gone a long way since losing his first title shot and dropping another by rear-naked chokes.
Incidentally, those were the first two losses of is career.
Pacio was only 20 when he first challenged the title holder on October, 2016 but failed to take the belt from Yoshitaka Naito.
After barely surviving his next fight by split decision, Pacio went down again due to a grappling move from Hayato Suzuki shortly after.
Since then, Pacio recorded three submissions of his own in his next seven wins, a rear-naked choke against Ming Qiang Liang, the “Passion Lock” submission of Pongsiri Mitsatit, and an arm-triangle choke of Rene Catalan.
Brooks had been calling out Pacio as an inferior fighter compared to other top contender strawweights but the his record and victory trends say otherwise.
By Armando Bolislis