Joshua Pacio’s convincing victory over Dejdamrong could be his ticket for ONE Strawweight World Championship again

After nearly capturing the ONE Strawweight World Championship belt five months ago, the road back to earning another title shot commences for Joshua Pacio as the highly-touted Filipino fighter is set to duke it out with former world titleholder Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
Both men are scheduled to face each other on the undercard of ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, which takes place at the 12,000-capacity Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 11 March.
Pacio is expected to have his hands full as he shares the ONE Championship cage with Dejdamrong, who is a three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion with over 25 years of competitive experience.

Having a record of 6-1 as a professional mixed martial artist, Dejdamrong is known as a technical striker with quick hands and lightning feet, employing some of the most unique and creative combinations.
Although Pacio has a tall order in front of him, Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao is confident that his talented ward will have his hand raised in triumph.
Sangiao, who has played a key role in the success of fighters such as Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, Geje Eustaquio and Kevin Belingon, believes that Pacio’s versatility will have a big factor against Dejdamrong.
“In today’s MMA, versatility is the key to success. Your striking should be as good as your grappling in order to be successful. Joshua is good in all aspects of the game. He has a superb striking background. He also has an efficient ground game. In his upcoming bout, you can expect that Joshua will be the more well-rounded guy inside the cage against a pure striker like Dejdamrong,” he stated.
Pacio, who possesses an impressive 8-1 standing as a prizefighter, is a Wushu specialist with a solid grappling skill set.
All eight of his career victories have come by finish, including five wins by impressive submission and three wins by knockout.

“There is something special in Joshua. He’s young, but he is hardworking and willing to give his best. Joshua always pushes himself to the limit. He knows that he has to do the grind in training to be successful in his fights,” Sangiao said of Pacio.
“He is truly dedicated to what he does. Plus, he has this winning attitude, which is an essential requirement to a fighter who wants to become a champion in this sport,” he added.
Sangiao is totally convinced that Pacio will be difficult for Dejdamrong to handle due to his ability to mix it up inside the cage.
“Joshua can fight anywhere, whether it’s in the stand-up or on the ground,” he shared. “Versatility will be the key to victory in this fight.”
Sangiao hopes that if Pacio secures a convincing victory over Dejdamrong, it will grant his valued student a rematch with Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Championship strap later this year.
“He is so prepared for this fight. He has given everything in training just to be in perfect shape for this bout. Joshua is really determined to get another title shot against Naito. He almost won that fight. He believes that a win against Dejdamrong will be his ticket to Naito. I also hope that we can get that title shot if he wins,” he said.


For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

About ONE Championship™
ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asian history. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the largest sports entertainment events across Asia featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE Championship is broadcast to over 1 billion viewers across 118+ countries around the world with some of the largest global broadcasters, including FOX Sports, Setanta, MNC, Astro, Thairath TV, ABS-CBN, TV5, MYTV, HTV, OSN and more.

What’s in store for some of the fighters at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM

After hosting a successful first event in Bangkok, Thailand, last year, ONE Championship returns to the Thai capital on Saturday Night, 11 March. The organization will stage its second event in the country, ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM.

The show will be headlined by an inspiring women’s title bout featuring a pair of undefeated heroines, and they will be supported by a stellar cast of future title contenders and some of the most promising Thai mixed martial artists to come out of the Southeast Asian country.

For many of the dynamic athletes who will be competing at this event, the stakes are high. There is much to gain, and perhaps even more to lose. Let’s examine what is in store for some of the fighters at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM.

Angela Lee

Angela Lee is one of the brightest superstars, and unquestionably the most beloved female athlete, in ONE Championship. The 20-year-old has lived up to her nickname and has been “Unstoppable” on her path to capturing the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship at ONE: ASCENT TO POWER last May, nearly one year after she made her professional debut.

The well-rounded martial artist, who splits her time training at United MMA and the Singapore-based Evolve MMA, absolutely tore through her first five opponents. If she showed any vulnerability, it was in the aforementioned title fight, where former DEEP JEWELS champion Mei Yamaguchi floored her with a massive right cross and brought her into the deep rounds.

Lee recovered, was able to go the full twenty five minutes, however, and never seemed to run out of energy with her takedowns, her striking, or her relentless submission attempts. The “Unstoppable” fighter has heart, and as a result, she also has the belt.

Now that she’s the champion, that does not mean she is perfectly fine coasting to a decision. On the contrary, she wants to finish every tilt moving forward as quick as humanly possible, and that starts with Jenny Huang. Lee wants to have a dominant reign and establish a legacy, but that can only happen if she comes away with a win.

Jenny Huang

Jenny Huang’s martial arts journey is the complete opposite of the champion’s. While Lee grew up in a family that bonded over the martial arts, Huang’s parents were vehemently against their daughter learning it. Her father even forced her to quit taekwondo when she went to class with her little brother.

However, her craving to learn was inevitably satisfied. First through middle school via judo, followed by Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA when she traveled to America and Singapore in her 20s. By the time she returned home to her native Chinese Taipei, the judo black belt was hooked.

She followed her instincts and decided to take her talents to the professional level. So far, the career move has paid off. Ever since making her debut in 2015, she has won all five of her fights, the last three by impressive submission.

For Huang, who now trains with the China-based Tianjin Top Team, she has a tremendous amount to gain from this fight. The 26-year-old has the chance to extend her undefeated record, win the most prestigious women’s title in the sport, become the first MMA Champion from Chinese Taipei, and gain the admiration and respect from her parents that she always sought after.

Shannon Wiratchai

Shannon Wiratchai has the opportunity to make a grand statement. The man known as “OneShin” is quickly becoming a fan favorite for his entertaining style, both inside the cage and out.

The last time we saw the Bangkok Fight Lab veteran was at ONE: UNBREAKABLE WARRIORS in September, where his unforgettable entrance featured him playing off the popular Pokemon GO craze, and was followed by an even more exciting bout where he bested Malaysian hero Peter Davis in his hometown.

Currently holding a 6-1 record and riding a four-fight win streak, Wiratchai claims the home court advantage for his upcoming bout against Richard “Notorious” Corminal. Based in Malaysia, Corminal is a boxing and Muay Thai specialist who carries a respectable 4-1 record, and has finished every opponent who has stood across the cage from him with strikes.

Wiratchai should have a more diversified skill set, and at 28, he is just now entering his prime. If he could make a definitive statement by soundly defeating Corminal, then “OneShin” could easily be fighting a lightweight contender in his next match.

Sagetdao Petpayathai

Sagetdao Petpayathai may be making his MMA debut at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, but he has the potential to become the biggest mixed martial artist that Thailand has ever produced. Those are big words, but he could very well back them up.

Known by his nickname “Deadly Star,” the aggressive Petpayathai is one of the most decorated Muay Thai champions of the past ten years. He has held the Lumpinee Stadium Championship on four occasions, in addition to the Rajadamnern Stadium Championship and WBC Super Lightweight Title, amongst others.

He decided to learn the various disciplines of MMA shortly after relocating to Singapore in 2014. Now, only 30 years old and rounding out his game with the various world champions at Evolve MMA, he will have a chance to see how his skills translate inside the cage.

Petpayathai’s first test will be against another promotional debutante in Kelvin “Ice Man” Ong. The Malaysian featherweight prospect trains with the likes of AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor and Ann Osman at Borneo Tribal Squad MMA, has competed in various martial arts competitions, and won his first and only MMA bout last July.

This is a big showcase for both competitors, but Petpayathai’s unbelievable Muay Thai experience makes this a must-see fight. It will be interesting to see how well his talent translates inside the cage. If successful, then “Deadly Star” could soon become a “superstar.”

Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke And Joshua Pacio

This is a critical moment in the career paths of both the former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and ex-title challenger Joshua Pacio. The two combatants desperately want a rematch against the current titleholder, Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, who gave both of these warriors the only blemish on their otherwise spotless records.

The two strawweights are meeting at the proverbial fork in the road. A win will send one of them towards that desired title bout, while a loss will undoubtedly eliminate the other from contention for the foreseeable future.

Pacio, who holds an 8-1 record, has youth on his side. The 21-year-old Filipino possesses a phenomenal wushu striking background, which was on full display when he battered Naito in their headlining contest at ONE: STATE OF WARRIORS last October.

Though he succumbed to a rear-naked choke in the third round, Pacio illustrated a sharpened ground game in the past, and has submitted five of his previous opponents. Also, he is armed with the brilliant game-planning of Team Lakay mastermind Mark Sangiao, who recently orchestrated the rise of ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.

Amnuaysirichoke, quite arguably, has more to lose. The Evolve MMA product lost the belt in front of his compatriots last May at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS, and at 38 years old, he could be coming towards the end of his career. If anything, he is more motivated than ever to get back on the winning track in his native country, and he has the ability to do that.

The Thai, who owns a 6-1 record, has the striking advantage as he is a multi-time Lumpinee Stadium Champion. Even in his defeat at the hands of Naito, he was stuffing his opponent’s takedowns before fatigue set in. If it stays on the feed, he should have the edge against his Filipino opponent.

Tickets: bit.ly/onewarriorkingdom | PPV: Official livestream at oneppv.com | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

About ONE Championship™

ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asian history. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the largest sports entertainment events across Asia featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE Championship is broadcast to over 1 billion viewers across 118+ countries around the world with some of the largest global broadcasters, including FOX Sports, Setanta, MNC, Astro, Thairath TV, ABS-CBN, TV5, MYTV, HTV, OSN and more.

Johua Pacio: "vying for the world title once again is my main goal"

Filipino fighter Joshua Pacio knows that if he plays his cards right against Thai combatant Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, he will get an opportunity to challenge Japanese veteran Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Championship title again.
Pacio and Naito crossed paths this past October in the main event of ONE: STATE OF WARRIORS, where the latter had to endure two grueling rounds before he pulled off a come-from-behind victory by submitting the Pinoy prospect with a rear-naked choke in the third frame to keep the gold-plated strap around his waist.
The 21-year-old Baguio City native hopes that if he secures a convincing win over Dejdamrong, it will grant him a second date with Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Championship belt later this year.
“I want to fight for the world title again. I was inches away from winning it, but one mistake took that one crowning moment away from me. Since my loss to Naito, vying for the world title once again is my main goal,” Pacio stated.
“I have the chance to face Naito again for the belt if I will get the win over Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke on March 11. The stakes are high in this fight,” he added.

However, Pacio is not alone in the quest to get a second encounter with Naito as Dejdamrong also has a history with the undefeated Japanese champion.
Dejdamrong relinquished his hold of the ONE Strawweight World Championship belt to Naito in May 2016, yielding to the Japanese submission specialist by way of fourth-round rear-naked choke.
Even though it was not publicly announced that the meeting between Pacio and Dejdamrong will be a title eliminator, the Filipino standout truly believes that the winner of the bout will get a rematch with Naito.
“Dejdamrong is a former champion. For sure, he wants to face Naito again and reclaim the belt. On the other hand, I have the same goal in mind. There’s no doubt that the winner of this fight will face Naito. It’s a must-win bout for both of us,” Pacio said.
Pacio clarified that he is not in a hurry and is willing to wait for his turn as strawweights like Alex Silva and Rene Catalan has moved up in the rankings with their recent wins inside the ONE Championship cage.
If he manages to get his hand raised against Dejdamrong, Pacio is ready to prove his position as next in line for Naito’s strawweight title.

“I am not in a hurry. I will honor and respect ONE Championship’s decision if they will not give me another title shot after this fight,” he said. “I will always be grateful with what I have. I have no problem if I need to prove once again that I deserve a championship opportunity.”
Pacio locks horns with Dejdamrong on the undercard of ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, which takes place at the 12,000-seater Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on 11 March.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

About ONE Championship™
ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asian history. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the largest sports entertainment events across Asia featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE Championship is broadcast to over 1 billion viewers across 118+ countries around the world with some of the largest global broadcasters, including FOX Sports, Setanta, MNC, Astro, Thairath TV, ABS-CBN, TV5, MYTV, HTV, OSN and more.

Pacio guarantees a better version of himself as he crosses paths with an ex-world titleholder like Dejdamrong

When Joshua Pacio faced Japanese veteran Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Championship title four months ago, it appeared that capturing the prestigious gold-plated strap was within the Filipino fighter’s reach.
In the opening salvo, Pacio effortlessly stuffed all five takedown attempts of Naito and was clearly getting the best out of the stand-up exchanges.
Naito was finally able to get the fight to where he wanted with a successful single-leg takedown in second frame, but Pacio remained active on the ground by landing elbows and keeping his shoulders off the ground while looking to create space with his legs.
However, it only took one crucial mistake in the third round to crush Pacio’s championship aspirations as Naito secured a rear-naked choke to keep the ONE Strawweight World Championship belt around his waist.
Eager to put himself back on the winning track, Pacio is set to make his return to the ONE Championship cage on 11 March to square off with former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke on the undercard of ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, which is set to happen at the 12,000-seater Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Pacio guarantees a better version of himself as he crosses paths with an ex-world titleholder like Dejdamrong.

“He is a former champion. There shouldn’t be room even for a single mistake in this bout. One mistake took everything away from me in my last fight. This time around, I can’t be complacent. Moreover, I have to be two steps or three steps ahead of him,” he stated.
“Expect that I will be a better competitor inside the cage. My team has prepared a good strength and conditioning program to level up my cardio. I made sure to sharpen my striking. I also invested time in my ground game,” Pacio added.
Pacio admitted that his third-round submission setback to Naito acted as a valuable lesson and a reasonable opportunity to patch the loopholes in his skillset and mature as a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor.
“It’s not a defeat. I think of it as a lesson. It has served as an inspiration and a reminder to work hard and push myself to the limit in training,” he said. “I am still young, and there are a lot of valuable things to learn in MMA. I believe great things are ahead of me.”
The 21-year-old Baguio City native expects that his three-round strawweight encounter with Dejdamrong will have no shortage of firepower as both men possess outstanding striking pedigrees.

Pacio has a Wushu Sanshou background, while Dejdamrong is a three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion.
“It’s going to be an action-packed fight. He is a striker and a world champion in Muay Thai. I have a Wushu background. It will be exciting for sure,” he stressed.

Seeking to vie for the ONE Strawweight World Championship once more, Pacio believes that a decisive victory over Dejdamrong will strengthen his bid to get a rematch with Naito.
“I want to fight for the title again. I was winning in that fight. I have to move on and focus on my next task. I believe that a win over Dejdamrong will put me back into the position to fight for the title again,” he ended.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

About ONE Championship™
ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asian history. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the largest sports entertainment events across Asia featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE Championship is broadcast to over 1 billion viewers across 118+ countries around the world with some of the largest global broadcasters, including FOX Sports, Setanta, MNC, Astro, Thairath TV, ABS-CBN, TV5, MYTV, HTV, OSN and more.