“They give me the strength” - Joshua Pacio believes his victory in Manila will be because of the fans

Joshua Pacio will fight infront of the Filipino audience inside Mall of Asia Arena for the seventh time. | Photo by ONE Championship
Joshua Pacio will fight infront of the Filipino audience inside the Mall of Asia Arena for the seventh time | Photo by ONE Championship

Reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio will once again feed off the energy of the rambunctious Filipino crowd to power him to victory against arguably his toughest challenge yet.

‘The Passion’ will be taking on the No.1-ranked strawweight contender Jarred Brooks in the main event of ONE 164 on December 3 inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. The Team Lakay stalwart headlines a stacked card filled to the brim with several Filipino warriors. It also marks ONE Championship’s return to Manila in over two years since the global pandemic.

Joshua Pacio is no stranger to the added pressure that comes from fighting in front of thousands of Filipinos watching in attendance and perhaps millions tuning in from their homes.

Having home-court advantage, though, does come with its perks. Pacio has experienced being rejuvenated mid-fight just by hearing the cheers and encouragement from his countrymen. The 26-year-old revealed this interesting tidbit during a recent virtual face-off interview alongside Brooks, courtesy of JM Siasat’s Sparring Sessions:

“I’ve been undefeated in my hometown and December 3rd, still I will be undefeated and that’s an additional motivation for me to hear the Filipino kababayan [countrymen] shouting my name. That’s the strength man. They give me strength and at the end of the night, my hand will be raised.”

Check out Pacio and Brooks’ full interaction here:


The Filipino star does have an immaculate track record when fighting at home, going 6-0 in all bouts taking place in the Philippines. In his last three contests inside the Mall of Asia Arena, Joshua Pacio managed to reclaim the 125-pound crown against rival Yosuke Saruta. He then defended it twice against Rene Catalan and Alex Silva, respectively.

Brooks, however, is on a tear right now, winning his first three matches inside the circle in dominant fashion.

Jarred Brooks vows to stun Filipino crowd by finishing Joshua Pacio in the first round

Jarred Brooks has completely embraced the antagonist role heading into his world title shot in the world champion’s hometown. For one, the American doesn’t mind having his crowning moment in front of a pro-Pacio crowd.

In fact, he relishes the opportunity and says that being in unfamiliar territory only makes the victory much sweeter.

In a recent interview with Unwrapped Sports, ‘The Monkey God’ went into gory detail about how he’ll take away the ONE strawweight belt from Joshua Pacio. Brooks shared:

“I think that it’s either going to be a straight right hand, I’m gonna catch him straight down the pipe. He likes to get his head offline, don’t get me wrong but he has to bring it back sometime, so when his head’s online I’m gonna look for it. I’m gonna go headhunting. Besides that, if his skills are what they look like, then I’ll take him to the ground and submit him.”

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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