Jeremy Pacatiw is in action at ONE Fight Night 21 on Saturday. The Filipino will be fighting for the first time since 2022 and representing his new team for the first time too.

He was part of the exodus of fighters from Team Lakay to Lion’s Nation MMA. Pacatiw admits it was a difficult decision but has no regrets,

“It was a tough decision to move to Lion’s Nation MMA. It was a risk. In every instance, we’re free to make our own decisions, but there are always results and consequences with those decisions. Looking at it now, I think I made the right decision. We have a world champion now, we’ve been building good momentum with a couple of wins, and I’m looking forward to keeping that momentum going.”

Striking base

At Lumpinee Stadium on Saturday morning he has been matched with Chinese bantamweight Wang Shuo. It sounds like Pacatiw and his Lion’s Nation trainers have been doing their homework,

“He’s a striker. I think he has a wushu base, which makes him a dangerous fighter, especially being a Chinese fighter. In his fight against Tatsumitsu Wada, I was impressed with his striking base.”

His opponent is making his bantamweight debut and Pacatiw feels that could be a decisive factor in this fight,

“The only question mark here is how he’ll look like at bantamweight. He moved up from flyweight, and we don’t know whether he got stronger or slower. We’ll see that in the fight.”

Confident not careless

Pacatiw was knocked out by Fabricio Andrade in 2022 although being beaten by the best bantamweight on the roster should be no source of shame. He knows it is essential he does not make any mistakes against a Chinese opponent who doesn’t have quite as stellar a reputation in the sport,

“I’m confident that I can hang with him wherever the fight goes. Being confident doesn’t mean being careless, though, as I have to be really careful. He can get really sneaky with his strikes. I want to prove that I’m a well-rounded fighter. I want to mix everything up. If an opportunity comes up to knock him out or submit him, I’ll go for it.”

Lion’s Nation MMA is run by former fighters and Pacatiw says they work as a team. The likes of Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon and Honorio Banario might be coming to the end of their competitive careers but they are all forging reputations as coaches.

According to Pacatiw it is a collaborative effort and he hopes the work they have put in together will pay off this weekend,

“The atmosphere here is amazing. It’s really a collaborative effort. We watch the fights together, we scout and study, we all give our take on what to do, and help out with the possible game plan for each other.”