Filipino martial artist Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has claimed a spot in ESPN’s Top 25 Mixed Martial Arts Fighters under the age of 25.
The reigning ONE Championship strawweight king took the 24th spot in ESPN’s second annual list published on November 16, 2020.
The top MMA fighter from Baguio City is the sole Filipino in the chosen 25 who possessed the “most impressive combination of achievement and potential,” said ESPN.
The Team Lakay fighter, who dedicated his MMA World championship win in 2018 to typhoon-hit Cordillerans, has put together a “sterling résumé” with two straight title defenses against compatriot Rene “The Challenger” Catalan in 2019 and Brazil’s Alex Silva last January.
The 24-year-old world champion, holds a strong 19-3 record, only losing once in the last three years to Yosuke Sarutain which he eventually defeated via knockout 3 months after their fight to reclaim the strawweight championship.
The Igorot fighter shared a short but inspiring message over his achievement in a Facebook post on November 17 saying,
“It’s not I but WE 🙇🙏 We are Grateful for this🙏 Didn’t expect this but as long as we work hard everything follows 😃”
Igorot athletes have made an astonishing sports title record internationally including Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon who was crowned ONE Bantamweight King in 2018 and Sagada marathoner James Tellias as the only Filipino finisher of the perilous Ultra Trail mountain race in France in 2019.
SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Joshua “The Passion” Pacio for being named among ESPN’s top 25 mixed martial arts fighters under the age of 25.
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