“It Would Be the Most Unforgettable 12 Minutes of My Life” – ONE Strawweight Champion Joshua Pacio Eyes Grappling Contest With MMA GOAT Demetrious Johnson

Published 04/13/2022, 6:45 AM EDT

ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is hoping to defend his strap in the Circle sometime soon.

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However, if that doesn’t fall into place, the Team Lakay star would be happy to test himself in submission grappling contest against MMA great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

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In a recent interview with ONE, Pacio hinted that he’d love to see how he would fare in a single-round matchup against one of the best wrestling specialists on the promotion’s roster.

“For me, I really want to grapple with DJ. Maybe we can do submission grappling. I want to test myself against him in a straight 12-minute grappling match,” the 26-year-old revealed.

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“I think that would be the most unforgettable 12 minutes of my life.”

ONE X featured submission grappling bouts

Two intriguing submission grappling contests featured on the card at ONE X, the promotion’s 10-year anniversary showcase, and had fans shouting for more.

Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder and Andre Galvao went toe-to-toe in a middleweight contest, while Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi and Danielle Kelly clashed in an atomweight tie.

Both meetings brought intense action to the Circle, and the fight format has sparked some interest in Pacio, who promised to put on an entertaining show against the American veteran were he ever to draw him.

“I’ll prepare for it. I’ll make sure that it won’t be a walk in the park, and I’m excited to showcase my grappling skills against him. At the same time, I’ll also learn from the GOAT,” the Filipino warrior said.

Joshua Pacio would prefer mixed rule fights with Demetrious Johnson

That said, the strawweight champion recognized that a grappling tie could give Johnson too much of an advantage. As a backup option, he also made it clear that he would sign on for a special-rules fight against the 12-time Flyweight World Champion.

“Maybe we can even change it up to round one pure striking, round two pure grappling, and then round three wrestling, and then the fourth would be MMA. That would be great, right? I want to feel that,” Pacio suggested.

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However, before any dream matchups can be set, the Filipino star will most likely have to think about putting his title on the line inside the Circle. No opponent has been named for him just yet, but the two frontrunners are Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane and Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks, who square off in a world title eliminator at ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic on Friday, 22 April.

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Deepak Kumar

658 articles

Deepak Kumar is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. His love for MMA comes from the chaos and violence the fight game brings to the table. A BJJ aspirant, Deepak began following the sport as a casual fan when Ronda Rousey was finishing her opponents in seconds.

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