Though the country is deep in its holiday celebrations, a gym in Baguio City will still be open for business.
The members of Team Lakay will still be working during the holiday season as two of its world champions are set for their first title defenses on January.
Later in the month, ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio (11-6) looks to settle the score against nemesis Adriano Moraes (17-3) in the main event of ONE: Hero’s Ascent on January 25 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
But earlier in the month, Joshua Pacio (16-2) will put his ONE Strawweight World Championship on the line on January 19 in the main event of ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta, Indonesia.
And Pacio is making the ultimate sacrifice for his first-ever title defense.
“It’s the sacrifice that I have to do because it’s my first title defense,” Pacio told ONEFC.com.
“On Christmas, I’ll still be with my family, but the day after, I’ll be back to training again.”
“The thing with Joshua is he’s already preparing even before the fight was announced. He’s always in shape,” added head coach Mark Sangiao.
“That’s why I am not worried about him. He’s going to continue his training even during the holidays.”
However, Pacio was thrown a curve ball a month before the bout.
Originally set to face Hayato Suzuki, the Japanese fell to an injury. Replacing him is another Japanese hotshot in Yosuke Saruta (18-8-3), who shocked the world after defeating ranked Brazilian Alex Silva earlier this month.
The 22-year-old wushu artist admits that the sudden change surprised him. But anything is possible in the world of mixed martial arts and that he was always ready for things like this.
“As a martial artist, you need to adapt. It has already happened to me in the past, and I was able to adapt through it. The game plan will be changed, but that’s okay,” admitted Pacio.
“It’s better now because there are still weeks to prepare.”
With this, Pacio looks to continue training even during New Year’s eve, leaving no stones unturned.
“The training is going fine. Now it’s all about peaking at the right time in training.”
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