After winning the title from Yosuke Saruta in their rematch in 2019, Pinoy MMA star Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has been a phenomenal Strawweight Champion.
After putting Saruta to sleep with an amazing head kick in their rematch, he followed it up with an amazing Arm-Triangle Choke on fellow Filipino fighter Rene Catalan to successfully defend his title.
In 2020, the 25-year-old fighter only had one fight and it was a close bout against the current number five ranked fighter in the Strawweight division in Alex “Little Rock” Silva.
Both men went at it in all five rounds back in January of last year at the ONE: Fire and Fury event. In the end, it was Pacio who was given the split decision win over the Brazilian.
The match ended being included in the top five fights in 2020 in ONE Championship.
Fast forward to this year and Pacio, who currently has a 17-3 win-loss record under his belt, is once again the target for Silva.
The 38-year-old Brazilian veteran wants another shot at Pacio as he believes that he should’ve won their last bout.
“I believe I’m one of the top guys in the division. My last fight was against Joshua [Pacio], who is the champion. Again, I say I think I won that fight. It was a very close split decision,” Silva said in a statement.
“‘Don’t leave the decision in the judges’ hands.’ That’s the biggest lesson I learned from that fight. Because from my point of view, I’m sure I won that fight. However, I respect the decision. Next time, I just have to finish,” he added.
Silva was on a two-fight win-streak heading into his bout against Pacio, submitting Xuewen Peng then Stefer Rahardian via armbar in the second round to earn his title shot.
Now, standing with a record of 9-5, the submission specialist is looking to earn another title shot by putting away his upcoming opponent, Koha “Hiroba” Minowa.
Minowa pulled off an amazing debut by upsetting Pinoy rising star Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang in a controversial split decision match.
Silva gave Minowa props for his skillset but confidently stated that he has what it takes to once again meet the Pinoy champion and claim the title.
“I was quite surprised, because Lito is a strong guy in the division. But he (Minowa) controlled the fight and deserved to get the win. I’m excited for the chance to test my skills against him. I believe I’m the best grappler in the division, and have everything I need to finish him. I’m going to finish him in the second round,” said Silva.
“I think he’s a good and young fighter. I watched his last fight, and he showed good grappling. But grappling is where I feel right at home. In this particular fight, his strength will be his weakness, because his strength is in grappling, and grappling is where I feel comfortable,” he added.
The two are set to meet this Friday at the ONE: Fist of Fury III event that will take place in Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore.
Do you think Silva deserves another title shot against Pacio? Sound off below in the comment section!