A new chapter beckons for Team Lakay as Jeremy "The Juggernaut" Pacatiw makes his much-awaited promotional debut in ONE: Battleground on July 30.
The 25-year-old is coming in with promise, evidenced by his previous performances that made him one of the most anticipated young talents to join the ONE roster.
Pacatiw assured that the version coming to ONE Championship is a more polished fighter than the one the public last saw.
"I'll say now that they will see a different breed of Jeremy Pacatiw, a much better version of me," he said.
Make no mistake about it, Pacatiw is ecstatic for this new chapter of his career as he takes on all comers.
"I am very, very much excited for my debut. I won't go into details about our preparation but I believe we have everything set for this fight," he said.
Pacatiw, who steps into the ONE Circle for the first time with Chinese foe Chen Rui, is motivated to leave a lasting impression and prove that, like his stablemates, he belongs.
Ahead of his first fight for the promotion, he got valuable insights from the Team Lakay seniors like reigning ONE strawweight champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio and two-time ONE lightweight champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang.
"They only gave me positive reminders ahead of my debut. They also told me that I should keep in mind that this being my debut, this is the moment for me to shine and get my name remembered," he said.
It is a golden opportunity for Pacatiw to introduce himself and show that the next generation of Team Lakay is ready to seize the spotlight, joining the next wave of Igorot fighters led by Pacio, Danny "The King" Kingad, Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang, and fellow ONE newcomers Stephen "The Sniper" Loman, Jenelyn Olsim, and Jhanlo Mark Sangiao.
Aware of the tradition Team Lakay has in the promotion, Pacatiw wants to deliver a memorable fight in his ONE debut.
"I just stay focused. I don't really feel pressured because that's what they reminded me of. The most important thing in my mind right now is to win, and that's it," he said.
Of all of the Team Lakay manongs, Pacatiw treasures the advice he got from Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon the most.
Belingon had been at the peak in the same bantamweight division, once holding the ONE title by topping Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes with a split decision win back in November 2018.
"Manong Kevin told me that I should give my all in the fight. He also reminded me to stay focused on the match all the time and not get distracted by anything that's happening outside of the cage," he said.
Pacatiw, however, is leaving no stones unturned as he and coach Mark Sangiao have crafted a potent game plan against Chen.
"I watched his fights and I saw my advantages as well as my disadvantages against him," said Pacatiw.
"In MMA, anything can happen. It could be a knockout, a submission, or a decision, so we really don't know what can happen. But I'm positive that the result of all my hard work will show on July 30.
"This match is so huge for me that it's a must that I win this. Everything else will follow."
FROM THE ARCHIVES