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ONE's Joshua Pacio suggests new superfight format, wants to grapple Demetrious Johnson

Joshua Pacio wants to strike, grapple and wrestle Demetrious Johnson before fighting under MMA rules – all in one bout.

Like the rest of the martial arts world, Joshua Pacio watched with interest when Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang Jitmuangnon faced off in ONE Championship's first special rules superfight at ONE X.

However, the ONE strawweight world champion didn’t just enjoy the spectacle – he wanted to be a part of it. 

Intrigued by the battle – which featured alternating rounds of muay Thai and MMA – "The Passion" would like to participate in his own mixed-rules clash.

The Filipino MMA star even suggested a different format that could engage the global fan base.

"Of course (I'd want to try it)." Pacio said. "It's something new, and I've been competing in mixed martial arts for the longest time, so I think I can do it. Maybe we can even change it up to round one pure striking, round two pure grappling, and then round three wrestling, and then the fourth would be MMA. That would be great, right? I want to feel that, and not only me – (Team Lakay teammates) Lito (Adiwang) and Danny (Kingad) also want to experience it.”

Johnson has received his fair share of callouts since he submitted Rodtang in the second round last month, and Pacio is adding himself to that list – though his request is a bit different.

Despite being a standup specialist, the strawweight king revealed that he would like to test himself in one of the American legend's areas of expertise. 

"For me, I really want to grapple with DJ," Pacio said. "Maybe we can do submission grappling. I want to test myself against him in a straight 12-minute grappling match. I think that would be the most unforgettable 12 minutes of my life. 

"I'll prepare for it. I'll make sure that it won't be a walk in the park, and I'm excited to showcase my grappling skills against him. At the same time, I'll also learn from the GOAT."

Pacio thinks Rodtang could have a future in MMA

While Rodtang Jitmuangnon fell to Johnson at ONE X, Pacio believes the muay Thai megastar could find success if he ever switches to mixed martial arts.

"The Iron Man's" chin and heart can never be questioned, and that alone would be enough to rattle plenty of adversaries – though "Mighty Mouse" had the veteran savvy to combat it.

“I sort of expected DJ to come away with the win, but that first round (of muay Thai) was amazing," Pacio said. "Rodtang ate a lot of shots, and I read one comment from DJ that he's really got a chin, so he really made sure to finish it in the (MMA) second round to avoid the third round. It was a great match."

Along with toughness and elite striking skills, "The Passion" knows Rodtang gained invaluable experience from facing one of the greatest mixed martial artists in history.

While it was just a few minutes of action, it could give "The Iron Man" a head start in the all-encompassing sport.

"I believe (Rodtang would) do well if he wants to explore MMA," Pacio added. "He's certainly learned a lot in that single round against DJ, and he won't get that experience anywhere. You can pick up a lot of things just by training and rolling with DJ, so what more if you’re up against him? I expect him to pick up a lot of things from that. That's a great lesson for him."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.