Learning never stops even for Filipino athletes plying their trade in ONE Championship.
Lions Nation MMA stars Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, and Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw showed just that as they came away with the overall championship in the Asian Sport Jiu-Jitsu Federation (ASJJF) Manila Open this past weekend at Festival Mall in Alabang.
Representing Gibran Langbayan’s Baguio Jiu-Jitsu, the troika nabbed six of the eight gold medals that Lions Nation MMA took home as they ruled in their respective weight divisions.
Pacio, who got promoted to blue belt by Langbayan this year, emerged victorious in the no-gi blue adult featherweight and openweight divisions.
“I’m really happy to test myself out in an actual jiu-jitsu competition. It validates the rank that I got this year,” said the former ONE Strawweight MMA World Champion.
On the other hand, Belingon also did the same in the master 1 lightweight and openweight divisions.
Pacatiw, for his part, won the adult lightweight and blue adult openweight divisions in the gi competitions.
“I really chose to compete in gi because I just got promoted to blue belt, and the challenge is there,” he stated. “I’m happy because in my first gi competition, and my first as a blue belt, I won double. I’m so happy. I can’t describe it.”
More than the medals, it’s a proof to the fighters’ dedication to their craft as they aim to be more well-rounded competitors as they continue to add grappling to their already decorated striking arsenal.
“It’s an eye-opener. It showed me the things that I needed to work on in this discipline, and the things that I can bring in my MMA career,” said Pacio.