Joshua Pacio is set to embark on a new chapter of his mixed martial arts career—one that holds the promise of redemption and glory.
This begins at ONE Fight Night 15 on October 7, where the Filipino phenom is penciled to lock horns with Russia’s Mansur Malachiev.
It will be Pacio’s first outing since he relinquished his throne atop the 125-pound division to Jarred Brooks by close unanimous decision in December 2022.
Despite the disappointing loss to Brooks, many still hail “The Passion” as the most dominant strawweight to grace the promotion, with two reigns as champion and a record eight world title fights to go along with three successful defenses.
Moreover, Pacio holds the position as the No. 1 strawweight contender in the rankings.
The 27-year-old superstar from Baguio City also owns an impressive slate of 20-4 with nine victories by knockout and eight via submission.
Pacio’s bid for divisional vindication carries an added dimension as he will now represent Lions Nation MMA—a stable he helped establish alongside esteemed teammates such as Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Edward Kelly, and Jeremy Pacatiw.
Meanwhile, Malachiev will figure in his first high-stakes encounter in his young ONE Championship tenure.
Malachiev, who totes an unblemished 11-0 professional standing, is coming off a triumphant promotional debut by defeating Jeremy Miado via first-round submission this past June.
With the impressive victory over Miado, Malachiev earned the No. 5 spot in the strawweight Top Five.
ONE Fight Night 15 is set to take place at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.