Even the most prolific team in Asian mixed martial arts Team Lakay has been affected by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
And it has forced the team to get creative.
For the past few months, Edward Kelly, Geje Eustaquio, and Honorio Banario have been working out through mountain biking.
Seeing his seniors do this, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio (19-3) joined in the fun.
“I took up mountain biking because I saw Kuya Edward, Kuya Geje, and Kuya Honorio doing it. So I tried it way back then, but it took me two years to buy my own bike. I’ve only just now made it a regular thing. Now we all go biking together, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Pacio, who last fought back in January 31 — a split decision win over Alex Silva.
“Mountain biking is a leisure activity, but it’s also good for cardio exercise.”
The team found a new appreciation for scenic Baguio City because of this.
More importantly, the team has become closer due to this activity.
“It’s one of the ways we bond. We ride together and experience the outdoors. It’s re-energizing and revitalizing, great for the mind and body.
“What I love most about mountain biking is that you don’t really notice how physically tiring it is because you’re having so much fun. It’s especially fun riding up mountains and roads. Baguio City has some of the best scenic locations in the Philippines. It’s so refreshing to just take in nature. We also have the best weather in the country,” the 24-year-old continued.
Once the situation with COVID-19 begins to improve and restrictions are relaxed, ONE Championship will look to host events in Manila once again.
Pacio knows he has to constantly be at the top of his game for when he gets the call to defend his belt.
Luckily, Pacio has mountain biking to keep him busy until he steps into the ONE Circle again.
“One of my most memorable experiences mountain biking was when ONE Championship came to Baguio for a shoot. They wanted to capture us mountain biking, so we went to Bubok Bisal, which is an hour and a half away from here. We enjoyed it a lot,” Pacio recalled.
“There were a lot of uphill and downhill slopes. We started riding at 10 in the morning, and we finished around 4:30 in the afternoon, ending up along a river where we had a meal before we went home. It’s those moments that get etched into your memory. It was such an amazing experience.”
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