Joshua Pacio says ‘struggling’ Mansur Malachiev had no quit in him: “He was undefeated for a reason”

Joshua Pacio (left) and Pacio fighting Mansur Malachiev (right) | Image credit: ONE Championship
Joshua Pacio (left) and Pacio fighting Mansur Malachiev (right) | Image credit: ONE Championship

Joshua Pacio’s 12th ONE Championship win didn’t come easy.

He went three full rounds with No.5-ranked divisional contender Mansur Malachiev in their strawweight clash at ONE Fight Night 15 on October 6 inside the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

The former ONE strawweight world champion came out as the victor after the judges gave him the unanimous decision nod in the all-important match that potentially secured him a rematch with current strawweight king Jarred Brooks.

Among the key factors that got Pacio the win was his two near-finishes and the overall damage he caused to the gritty Russian. In the aftermath of his triumph over Malachiev, ‘The Passion’ was asked by ONE Championship how close he was to getting the submission finish.

The 27-year-old fighter out of Baguio City, Philippines, mentioned a particular juncture in the fight where he thought that Dagestani would be forced to tap, but his toughness prevailed. Pacio praised him for that by saying:

“Oh yes. In the second round, I heard him struggling. But, you know, for us, Mansur and I, this is our shot for a title. So we gave it our all. So he was very hard to get. He was undefeated for a reason.”

This latest victory improved Pacio’s professional MMA record to 21 wins and four losses, including a ONE Championship record of 12 wins and four losses. It also allowed the Lions Nation MMA representative to get back in the winner’s circle after absorbing a tough loss to Brooks in December 2022.

Pacio now hopes to get another shot against ‘The Monkey God’ and reclaim the 26-pound golden belt for the third time in his career.

Fans in North America can watch the ONE Fight Night 15 replay on demand via Amazon Prime Video.

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