“Quest to better myself”: Pacio announces reason that led to Team Lakay departure

Joshua Pacio just bade goodbye to Team Lakay (onefc.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Filipino Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) superstar Joshua Pacio finally aired his side which led to his split up with head coach Mark Sangiao and Team Lakay.

After news circulated last Sunday that Pacio was also included in the ‘Team Lakay Exodus’, the former ONE Fighting Championship formally announced his exit last March 13, 2023, via a lengthy Facebook post.

“In my quest to better myself and reclaim the belt that was once mine, I have decided that moving out of the fabled stable that gave Filipino fight fans much to cheer for inside the Circle is the path that I have to take,” Pacio posted.

Pacio now joined ex-Team Lakay legends Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon who also publicized their departure from the storied MMA stable.

The crafty MMA star became Team Lakay’s most successful fighter during his reign in the strawweight division and successfully defended his belt five-straight times.

However, Pacio lost his belt last December 2022 when Jarred Brooks won via a unanimous decision during the main event of ONE FC 164.

Pacio is still determined to regain his lost championship belt and is only 27 years of age carrying an impressive 19-4 win-loss record in ONE FC.

“I believe that stepping out of my comfort zone is the way to level up my overall skills in the world of combat sports,” Pacio added.

Just like Folayang and Belingon, Pacio leaving Team Lakay was approved by coach Sangiao and also ended their terms in good faith.

“I wouldn’t be a World Champion in ONE Championship without the guidance of Coach Mark Sangiao enjoying the blessings given through the learnings I have honed with my fellow Team

Lakay members. However, there is a saying that champions never rest on their laurels and must continue sharpening their skills,” Pacio talked of Sangiao.