Reigning ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio believes it will be a monumental clash should he square off with newly-crowned UFC flyweight champion Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno.
ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong discussed his openness with a cross-promotion event between the two biggest mixed martial arts organizations in the world, and should that happen, a clash featuring two of the biggest small men in the sport would certainly be on top of fans’ wishlist.
Pacio needs to bulk up when he takes on the Mexican, but it will be a scrap that he’s more than willing to take up.
“I think there will be a huge size difference considering that I’m a natural 125 pounder, while Moreno probably walks around as a bantamweight,” Pacio said.
“It would be an honor to compete against him. I feel like if I can do it right, I will be stronger and more explosive as a flyweight.”
“The Passion” was amazed with Moreno’s rise to the top of the UFC flyweight division, as the Mexican had some setbacks early in his career, including being cut after losing back-to-back matches in the US-based promotion.
But “The Assassin Baby” would not be denied, eventually finding himself back in the Octagon, working his way to the top before eventually reaching the pinnacle when he submitted Deiveson Figueiredo to become Mexico’s first MMA world champion.
Pacio likened Moreno’s rise to his own team’s ascent, especially since the squad also had some setbacks before becoming the country’s premier mixed martial arts stable.
“He has a very inspiring journey. Despite all those setbacks, he vowed to be a world champion. He worked for it and persevered and now he’s proven true to his word,” Pacio said.
“It’s like our story in Team Lakay. A lot of us struggled, came from nothing, but this sport opened doors and opportunities for us.”
Should the match take place, Pacio doesn’t expect a win to come easily, but he believes he has the tools to upend the bigger Moreno while also putting on a show for the fans.
“He can do a lot of things and he’s dangerous in different aspects. He can trade on the feet, and he can also roll on the mat, so it will be tough,” Pacio said.
“For me, whoever executes their game plan will win this. It’s all about striking first and striking hard. He’s a tough matchup because he’s well rounded, but I can strike and grapple as well.
“I’d like to end it early if that happens.”
FROM THE ARCHIVES