Asian MMA

Joshua Pacio Details Changes Made To Camp Ahead Of ONE 166 Title Bid

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Joshua Pacio ruled the strawweight division. That was until Jarred Brooks arrived in ONE Championship and ran up the ladder to dethrone the Filipino star. At ONE 166 on Friday, March 1, Pacio has a chance to even the score.

“I lost in a fight where I didn’t showcase my absolute best. That disappointment lingered within me for a long time. Now, I’m turning that disappointment into my fuel for this fight. I know the lapses I committed in the first fight, and in the rematch, I will aim to rectify them,” Pacio told ONE.

To earn the rematch, Pacio knocked off rising star Mansur Malachiev. “The Passion” showed his growing skill set in the decision victory. But he was right back in the gym after the win.

However, the Lion Nations MMA representative is not just focusing on sharpening his technique. He is also working on his mindset ahead of the rematch. “The Passion” admits he wants to utilize his instincts and compete without missing a single beat.

“This is mixed martial arts. It’s either you will get hit or you will get taken down. This camp has taught me to have the proper mindset. If I am one of the best in the world, I should fight like it. That’s the goal of this training camp – to fight with no hesitation. In this rematch, I must fight the way I really fight. I see two [possible outcomes]: It’s either I win by knockout or I win by decision. Jarred Brooks is no pushover. He can strike and he can wrestle. But I’m prepared wherever the fight goes.”

The strawweight challenger credits his preparation to his new team. The former Team Lakay star joined Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon in their new camp. That level of familiarity with friends and training partners has settled him into a new routine where he can reach new heights at ONE 166.

“When you’re preparing for a bout with this kind of magnitude, you must be 100 percent ready physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. First of all, as an athlete, you have to feel at home. When you’re confident and happy in your environment, it will bring out the best in an athlete. And I can honestly say that’s what I’m feeling right now. All of that can be attributed to the support I’m getting here at Lions Nation MMA.”

Even with talking up his improved mental state, the physical is not being left behind. As he nears the title tilt with his rival, Pacio has also worked with new coaches to change his diet and improve his strength and conditioning. “The Passion” is taking nothing for granted as he plans to arrive in Qatar as well-prepared as possible and take the belt back to the Philippines.

“For this training camp, we’ve got all the help I need to monitor my progress. We have a legitimate strength and conditioning coach, Kuya Vince [Loman], who has really focused on enhancing my explosiveness and speed. In the grappling aspect, of course, Professor Gibran Langbayan is here to help. Plus, he brought his younger brother, Godwin, with him. Godwin is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the Philippines and is part of the national sambo team. In terms of the fight itself, we’ve done a lot of simulations to have a real feel of all the possibilities that could happen in the fight.”

ONE 166 airs live on Friday, March 1. The event will be held at the Lusail Sports Arena in Qatar. The action begins at 7:30 a.m. EST/4:30 a.m. PST.

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