Joshua Pacio (15-2) is about to embark on the biggest challenge of his life, as he takes on Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE Strawweight World Championship in the main event of ONE: Conquest of Heroes on September 22.
For this journey, Pacio brought along a good friend to train him for the biggest bout in his young career – none other than fellow Team Lakay brother Danny Kingad.
“Danny is a Godsend.
“I am so lucky to have my brother, whom I respect and admire, helping me prepare for the toughest fight of my career,” the 22-year-old told ONEFC.com.
In their first bout, Pacio and Naito figured in a tight contest last October 7, 2016. Team Lakay’s top strawweight gassed out in the third round, falling to a submission loss via a rear naked choke.
This time around, he made sure to train with a stablemate who greatly outweighs him.
“He is, no doubt, one of the strongest fighters – both physically and mentally. Not only is he strong, he is also very intelligent, and can emulate a lot of styles and opponents. To have that kind of guy to train with – it’s done amazing things for my development,” furthered Pacio.
Kingad though has a business to attend to as well in Indonesia. In the undercard of Conquest of Heroes, Kingad faces Yuya Wakamatsu.
“Me and him have talked before about competing on the same card. It was one of our goals. Now, we have that chance. We are facing two very talented Japanese warriors, and we have a tough task ahead of us,” Pacio disclosed.
“There is no pressure, but I know Danny has it in him to really set the tone for me. He is taking on an equally tough opponent, so I will be rooting for him in his corner. If we both win our fights, that would be a dream come true.”
Outside of Team Lakay’s gym, both Pacio and Kingad are close as well, having attended school in the University of Cordilleras together.
“Even outside of training, we spend a lot of time together, riding our motorcycles, and having dinner with friends. The only thing we can’t help each other with is math, because we both know we aren’t too good at that,” quipped Pacio.
That is why come fight night, Pacio is hoping that he and Kingad will come out as victors so that they can take over Jakarta together.
“That would be awesome if he were to score some kind of exciting finish right before I go out there and take care of business,” he confessed.
“I think that would really give me an extra boost. Right now, I need all the help I can get. I’m headed into the biggest fight of my life, and victory is on my mind.”