Greg Jackson, Joshua Pacio
Greg Jackson (L) has become a fan of former ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio (R). Multiple Sources


  • Joshua Pacio has received glowing reviews from Greg Jackson
  • Pacio presently trains at the world-renowned Jackson Wink MMA Academy
  • Jackson sees a bright future ahead of Pacio

Greg Jackson has been a full-fledged mixed martial arts trainer for over two decades, and it is no secret that he has a knack for spotting exceptional talent.

The three-time Coach of the Year awardee has played a pivotal role in the success of various luminaries in the sport, including Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Rashad Evans, Carlos Condit and Donald Cerrone.

Although he has seen them all through the years, Jackson still gets ecstatic whenever he notices one. This was the case when Joshua Pacio walked through the doors of his world-class training facility based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"Joshua has the spark. There are kids that just have that spark of talent and he's one of those guys. He has that flame that once you feed it, the fire's already big," Jackson said about Pacio in an exclusive interview with the International Business Times.

In early April, Pacio came to the United States with teammate and ex-ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang to train at Jackson Wink MMA Academy.

This gave him the chance to interact closely and personally with the former two-time ONE strawweight titleholder.

The 48-year-old American coach expressed his admiration for Pacio's fervor to perfect his craft.

"He was the world champion for goodness knows how long. Even where he is now, he can ascend to a higher place and that's because of the passion he brings and the fire he has in him," Jackson shared.

"Obviously, he's a very talented athlete, very smart too, but I think it's that passion and his motivation that, I feel, is going to push him up to the next level."

Though Jackson is undoubtedly impressed with what Pacio brings to the table, he sees a bane that needs to be addressed—the Filipino's wrestling chops.

"We're really going to be focusing on the wrestling side, making sure that he can counter wrestle and that if he gets taken down, he can get up quickly because right now, the only way to beat Joshua is to basically snuggle him and hold him as tight as you can," the veteran coach disclosed.

"We have to be able to work our way around that. That's going to be one of our big focuses here in the camp."

Jackson believes it's the missing link in Pacio's arsenal if he wishes to regain the ONE strawweight championship that he lost to Jarred Brooks by way of unanimous decision in December of last year.

"Once Joshua gets some information on the one little part that's missing, the sky's the limit for him," he stated. "We can help him out as much as we can, but we're certainly going to do everything we can to try. I see nothing but success in his future."

When asked about his thoughts on a potential rematch between Pacio and Brooks, Jackson is confident that the second encounter will play out differently.

"I'm a reckless optimist. I believe in my guys 100%. There's no doubt he'll be able to reclaim the title, avenge that loss, and have a great career in front of him. Very excited about that."

Quotes transcribed by Karl Batungbacal

Joshua Pacio, ONE Championship
Joshua Pacio during the ceremonial weigh-ins ahead of his main event fight with Jarred Brooks at ONE 164. ONE Championship

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.