Breaking Down Joshua Pacio’s “Passion Lock”
ONE strawweight contender Joshua “The Passion” Pacio made quick work of Pongsiri Mitsatit at ONE:Reign of Kings last July 27, 2018. While it was no surprise that Pacio used his wrestling to impose his will on his opponent, pundits and fans alike were wowed by the manner Joshua finished the fight.
The ending sequence began with Pacio picking his opponent up for an emphatic slam. From there, Pacio worked from side mount to full mount with little resistance from Mitsatit. Punishing his opponent from the top, the Lakay standout took his opponent’s back. Pacio then isolated Mitsatit’s arm, yanked it back and proceeded to crank the Thai’s arm for a Submission of the Year candidate.
ONE color commentator Mitch Chilson was noticeably impressed with Pacio’s patent submission. Asked what it was called, the young Lakay said, “I don’t know…the Passion Lock?” And unlike Mark Striegl’s “Fil-Americana”, commonly known in BJJ as a Floating Americana, Pacio’s submission was truly unique – more along the lines of Phil Davis’ “Mr. Wonderful”.
“Passion Lock” Explained
Jiujiteiros traditionally secure a seat belt position once they transition to back mount. The seat belt position is advantageous because it gives the attacker the option to go for a rear-naked choke or isolate the arm for an arm bar. Pacio secured his hooks from back mount, but went for Mitsatit’s left arm with a two-on-one, using both his arms to pull the Thai’s forearm to the back. From there, Pacio only needed to push Mitsatit’s forearm up to get the submission.
Team Lakay Proves They’re Still on Top of Their Game
Last year was devastating for Filipino MMA fans as Team Lakay’s leader Eduard ‘Landslide’ Folayang lost his ONE lightweight strap to heavy-handed Martin Nguyen. Coming out of ONE: Global Superheroes, however, Team Lakay showed us that Folayang’s reign was just the tip of the iceberg.
Inheriting the top spot as the face of Team Lakay is Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio, who opened 2018 with a pleasant gift for the Filipino fight nation – the ONE interim flyweight championship.
January 26 was indeed a sweet night for Eustaquio. He snagged the gold after taking the unanimous decision victory over Kairat Akhmetov – a man who, in many people’s opinion, stole one from Eustaquio the last time they met inside the cage in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In that fight, Eustaquio seemingly had Akhmetov beat when the Kazakh was stunned by a series of up kicks. But the fight was inexplicably paused by referee Yuji Shimada, which allowed Akhmetov to recover and escape with a narrow split-decision victory.
During the rematch, Eustaquio made sure to hurt Akhmetov even more by cancelling his date with his long-time rival and current champion, Adriano Moraes.
Eustaquio’s key to victory was his grappling defense. Ironically, ‘Gravity’ needed to avoid getting pulled down by gravity to overcome his opponent. Akhmetov proved once again that he is the superior wrestler as he successfully completed three takedowns. Eustaquio, however, did not allow the Kazakh to inflict damage once the fight shifted to the ground.
After five grueling rounds, Eustquio claimed the right to be called a world champion and be hailed as Team Lakay’s new franchise guy. If we will pay close attention, however, Team Lakay is not defined by franchise guys and breakout stars. They are defined by their culture of winning and excellence.
Team Lakay prospect Joshua Pacio is focused on Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke this Saturday night
After a hard-fought title loss to reigning ONE world strawweight champion Yoshitaka Naito last October, it would be an injustice to say that this Saturday’s title eliminator against former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (DSA) is Joshua Pacio’s toughest challenge yet. It is however safe to say that it would be one of the toughest challenges not only of his young career, but possibly its entirety thereof.
Earning his keep in Pro-Am leagues before debuting in ONE Championship last April 2016, fighting in Asia’s largest MMA promotion had something both expected and surprising for Pacio. “Ever since I was in Pro-Am, I had my sights set on ONE [Championship],” Joshua told MMA Philippines in this exclusive. “I knew that once I stepped foot on ONE, I will only be fighting high-level opponents from here on out.” He continued, “ONE is such a big stage for MMA. When I first fought in ONE, the audience was a big difference for me. Paglabas ko sa entrance papunta sa cage, grabe ang dami at lakas ng sigaw ng mga tao! (When I walked out towards the cage, the volume of people and their cheers were exhilarating!)”
Despite the nerves he may have felt at the time, Pacio quickly racked up two wins at ONE before facing the undefeated Naito. After controlling the fight for two rounds using his range and takedown defense, Pacio fell prey to a rear naked choke which the crafty Japanese converted from a failed takedown attempt.