MMA: Team Lakay's Pacio keeping close watch on potential challengers


Posted at Oct 04 2020 12:43 PM

MMA: Team Lakay's Pacio keeping close watch on potential challengers 1
Filipino MMA fighter Joshua Pacio. Handout photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- Undisputed ONE Strawweight Champion Joshua Pacio is keeping a close watch on the next ONE Championship event, where a pair of potential challengers will face off to prove they deserve a shot at his title.

Former ONE World Champion and Lumpinee Stadium legend Dejdamrong "Kru Rong" Sor Amnuaysirichoke of Thailand will take on China's Hexigetu in a three-round battle at ONE: Reign of Dynasties on October 9.

The venue for the event has yet to be confirmed and announced by ONE Championship. 

The 24-year-old Pacio, who fights out of the famed Team Lakay stable, predicts a thrilling war.

"This is going to be a very explosive matchup, given the two styles. They are both very aggressive and like to lead the pace. Dejdamrong is a very experienced athlete with years of competition on his resume," he explained. 

"Of course, he has some of the best standup in the world owing to his time in Thailand's top Muay Thai circuits," he added.

"Hexigetu, meanwhile, is a very explosive and athletic fighter. That's why I expect an exciting showdown between these two amazing athletes."

Pacio is familiar with Dejdamrong, whom he defeated via split decision in March 2017. He is well aware of the veteran's distinct style and characteristics.

Though the Thai warrior is already 41 years old, Pacio remains confident that Dejdamrong has enough left in the tank to beat Hexigetu and perhaps make his way back up the strawweight ladder.

"I don't think age really matters that much as long as you still have that drive and desire to compete against the best," said Pacio. "Dejdamrong has that, and even more. I believe he wants to make another run at the title, and I welcome him. 

"I think if he wins this fight, and he turns in an impressive performance, he can easily climb up the rankings," he added.

While the bout appears close on paper, Pacio fully expects Dejdamrong to emerge victorious -- and perhaps rise again to challenge him for the belt.

"What was tough about Dejdamrong was that you can immediately feel that he's been in this game for a long time. He knows everything there is to know about fighting, and he's a very technical striker," said Pacio.

"No doubt, he got all that from his time as a Lumpinee Stadium champion. He really is one of the greatest. This is going to be a fun fight but I have Dejdamrong winning this one," the Filipino star predicted. 

In the main event of ONE: Reign of Dynasties, reigning ONE Strawweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand will defend his Muay Thai title against top contender Josh "Timebomb" Tonna of Australia.