ONE Championship Strawweight champion Joshua Pacio had a solid outing in 2021. The Team Lakay star had a successful title defense against Yosuke Saruta in the year and that too, via an impressive first-round TKO stoppage.
With 2021 in the books, Pacio is looking forward to a strong 2022. The Filipino MMA star is looking to showcase his improved grappling skills in the new year.
"What I wanted to show was my well-roundedness – that I can also go for takedowns and submissions against a very tough opponent like Saruta. But in that fight, you can see that I was just defending the takedowns and then attempting to get back up when I got taken down. We’ve been working on it since the [COVID-19] pandemic [began]. We’ve been working on the confidence in the execution, especially against good grapplers. I can’t always say, ‘Oh, I’m facing a good grappler. I have to work on my defense.’ Defense, defense, is it all that it is for me?" Pacio said (h/t Spin.ph).
He further went on to add that he will be trying to showcase more attacks on the ground in his upcoming fights.
"I also want to show that I can go for takedowns, I can control the fight with my grappling, and I can throw out submission attempts. I think those are the next few things that I will show in my next few fights,” Pacio added.
Interestingly, 9 out of Pacio’s 19 wins have come via submission meaning that he won almost 50% of his fights through his grappling skills. 7 have come via KO or TKO when three wins in Pacio’s career came via decisions.
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