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One champ Joshua Pacio eager to kick off Pinoy title reign

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One strawweight champ Joshua Pacio eager to start the new year on a positive note for Pinoy titleholders.

One of five Filipino titleholders in One Championship, Joshua Pacio kicks off 2019 as the first to defend his belt. Taking on Yosuke Saruta in Jakarta, he feels honored to spearhead in representing the flag and country inside the cage.

“Napaka-special (para sakin) kasi siyempre ako yung first na magde-defend this 2019 so kailangan manalo para dagdag motivation para sa mga teammates ko.” Pacio tells RealFight PH, “At yun, para patunayan na karapat-dapat yung belt samin.”

Initially scheduled to face the man whom he took the title from, Yoshitaka Naito, he now faces Saruta after the former pulled out of their fight due to an apparent injury. According to Pacio, the change of opponent didn’t affect his preparations and is looking forward to meet Saruta.

The Team Lakay standout treats his new opponent with the same approach as Naito. He describes his new opponent as a workhorse like the former champion, especially on the mats. This motivates “The Passion” to show what he is capable off and return home with the gold.

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“Meron konting pressure pero trust ko yung preparation ko so excited na.” He says, “Hindi naman kasi three weeks naman tsaka pinalitan. Walang pinag-kaiba naman yung kalaban. Medyo well-rounded lang yung kalaban ngayon so kakayanin.

Pacio ends, “Expect lang ang explosive bout between samin ni Saruta kasi explosive siyang athlete at mas experienced siya. Pero ipapakita natin yung ‘Igorot Power’ ika nga.”

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