MANILA – Another member of Team Lakay has left the mixed martial arts’ stable.
Joshua Pacio confirmed on Monday that he has quit the team and is plotting a major comeback to reclaim the ONE strawweight title.
"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 is the path that I have to take," the 27-year-old Pacio said in a statement.
He said stepping out of his comfort zone is the way to level up his skills.
“There is much to do for me to recapture the throne and it begins with this step," he added.
Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon and Honorio Banario have previously left Team Lakay for a "fresh start”.
"On behalf of Team Lakay, I wish you all well in your next step. The decision has been made among us and I'm glad we had that final graceful goodbyes talk," Lakay coach Mark Sangiao said in a separate statement over the weekend.
Pacio relinquished the ONE strawweight title to American Jarred Brooks at ONE 164 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last year.
Despite the loss, Pacio said he never stopped training to prove himself.
"There is a saying that champions never rest on their laurels and must continue sharpening their skills," he said.
Pacio thanked the Baguio city-based Team Lakay for molding him into the fighter that he has become, especially under the guidance of Sangiao.
"I'd like to give thanks to the people that helped mold me through my formative years, namely the members of Team Lakay led by our dear coach, Mark Sangiao. I wouldn't be a world champion in ONE Championship without the guidance of coach Mark and through the learnings I have honed with my fellow Team Lakay members," he said. (PNA)