Despite the difficult time, Team Lakay stalwarts Joshua Pacio and Jenelyn Olsim try to remain in shape as they standby and wait for their next fight in ONE Championship.
Of the two, the 25-year-old Pacio has been inactive for more than a year now since retaining his ONE strawweight world title against Alex Silva following a split decision win at the Mall of Asia Arena before the outbreak of the pandemic.
Olsim, 23, meanwhile, was fortunate enough to make her ONE Championship debut just last month in Singapore with a third round submission of Brazilian Maira Mazar, ranked No. 5 in the world.
“We continue training. Hindi man training na hard katulad ng may laban, pero at least one percent everyday nag-iimprove. Hinahasa yung skills para hindi mangalawang,” said Pacio as he appeared in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum online edition on Tuesday along with Olsim.
“Very grateful na tuluy-tuloy ang training namin. Anytime kasi puwedeng mabigyan ulit ng chance para makalaro ulit,” added Olsim, a member of the Philippine muay thai team who won a silver medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games here.
Olsim hopes she gets to fight any among the top four fighters in the strawweight category in a bid to go up in the rankings and fight for the world title.
“Hopefully, isa sa mga makalaban ko yung nasa Top 4 para makataas ulit ako ng rank going for the belt,” said Olsim, a native of Bokod, Benguet in the session presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)
“I’m chasing my dream and I’m in the right team (Team Lakay). Hopefully, in the next year or two years, as soon as possible ma-achieve ko yung goal ko,” added the muay thai practitioner who did odd jobs to support her studies before finding her way into mixed martial arts.
Xiong Jing Nan of China is the current champion in Olsim’s division.
Pacio said he welcomes whoever will be pitted against him especially that he’s been eager to get back on the octagon after his last bout in January of 2020.
He’s not even backing down on a possible third installment of his rivalry against Japanese Yosuke Saruta, who is rated no. 1 in the same division.
“As a champion, ang trabaho natin is to train and get better everyday. Kung puwede kung sino yung rank no. 1, yun na,” said Pacio in the same forum powered by Smart and with Upstream Media as the official webcast partner.
“I’m the champion and anytime papatunayan natin na tayo ang champion, kahit sino man yun,” added Pacio, aware of the level of talent coming in the lower division that he’s been dominating the past few years.