As Joshua Pacio gears up to face Mansur Malachiev in a crucial strawweight bout at ONE Fight Night 15 on Saturday, October 7, he finds himself with an unexpected ally in his corner—Jeremy Miado.
Despite the fact that both Filipino mixed martial artists are not on the same team, Miado has a personal stake in Pacio’s upcoming match.
Miado and Malachiev have a history together, having clashed inside the Circle last June. Unfortunately for “The Jaguar,” that encounter ended with a first-round submission loss.
But rather than dwelling on the past, Miado has transformed this defeat into motivation and hope as he passionately roots for his compatriot against the undefeated Russian spitfire.
“I’m really glad that Mansur Malachiev will be Joshua’s opponent in his next fight. I like the possibility that Joshua may get back at Mansur for my defeat,” he told Tiebreaker Times with a gleeful smile.
“If you ask me, I think Joshua has a good chance.”
Miado believes that Malachiev, a high-pressure wrestler who has six submission victories under his belt, lacks the versatility and depth that Pacio possesses in the sport.
“Joshua is incredibly well-rounded, and Mansur leans too heavily on his wrestling. Joshua has the advantage if the topic is versatility alone, and I firmly feel that Joshua is the clear favorite here,” he said.
Miado thinks that one crucial factor that will work to the former ONE strawweight champion’s advantage is his often-overlooked ability to defend takedowns.
“The Passion” effectively demonstrated this skill in his unsuccessful world title defense against Jarred Brooks in December 2022, fending off the majority of Brooks’ takedown attempts.
“If Joshua can match Jarred Brooks’ wrestling skills, I believe he’ll be more adept at dealing with Mansur’s wrestling,” Miado stated.
As the date draws near, Miado isn’t just wishing for a victory; he’s confidently foreseeing a second-round technical knockout in favor of the Lion Nation MMA representative.
But should the duel go the full three rounds this weekend, Miado remains confident that Pacio will have his name written on the scorecards as the winner.
“It’s possible that Joshua can win by TKO, probably in the second round. It’s either by way of TKO or by unanimous decision. I’m pretty sure that Joshua Pacio will win against Mansur Malachiev,” he declared.
Pacio’s assignment at ONE Fight Night 15 holds immense significance as it sets the stage for his pursuit of a rematch with Brooks for the ONE strawweight title.
A victory over No. 5-ranked contender Malachiev would unquestionably bolster Pacio’s case and bring him one step closer to the coveted title shot.
ONE Fight Night 15 is set to take place at the world-renowned Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.