There was a significant cloud of uncertainty around Joshua Pacio’s return to the circle before he actually made his appearance there.
After suffering a loss to Jarred Brooks at ONE 164, which resulted in him losing his ONE strawweight world championship, the former champion was eager to get back on track at ONE Fight Night 15.
Mansur Malachiev, who was undefeated at the time, stood in his way. Malachiev was seeking to record the greatest win of his career so that he could get a crack at Brooks.
With his training in wrestling, there was no question as to where Malachiev would try to win this bout and it was unanimously agreed upon. It was a very important question to answer because Brooks was making things difficult for Pacio with his grappling.
Pacio demonstrated that despite being brought down several times throughout the bout, he was still able to complete the task at hand by having his hand raised as a result of the scorecards completed by the judges.
Even when Malachiev was able to take the battle to the ground, ‘The Passion’ continued to be a problem for his opponent by using a combination of his experience to keep himself safe on the ground and his own submission strikes from the bottom position. This allowed ‘The Passion’ to continue to be a threat to his opponent.
Joshua Pacio stated in an interview after he was able to get back in the win column that the fight against ‘The Monkey God’ made him confident heading into this one. This was after he was able to get back in the win column.
The former champion of the strawweight division stated in an interview with ONE Championship that he was not concerned about what Malachiev may give on the ground because of the experience he gained fighting Brooks in his most recent bout:
“Yes, he knocked me down, but the damage he inflicted on me was little due to my guard. In addition, you’ll recall that I mentioned before that Jarred Brooks carries more weight in the leading position. Therefore, I had no doubts about getting into the guard game or playing on the ground.
For viewers in North America who have an active subscription to Amazon Prime Video, the whole ONE Fight Night 15 event can be viewed in its entirety and for free through the event replay on Amazon Prime Video.