by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun
Jason Pacheco Jr. enjoyed a good joke and he was passionate about martial arts fighting.
His involvement in the competitions and, recently, coaching his own team, “brought a lot of happiness to his life,” said Esperanza Madrid, Pacheco’s cousin.
Pacheco, 31, was shot to death on Thursday night, outside a gym where fighters were weighing in for Friday’s scheduled event.
The Desert Xtreme Blood War event was called off following the shooting.
“We can’t dwell on what happened (Thursday night). We have to celebrate his life,” Madrid said.
Martial arts or ultimate fighting “was something he thought of as a business … maybe something he could do in the future,” said Nichol Madrid, also Pacheco’s cousin.
About two years ago, Pacheco had been the promoter of a cage fight at a fair at the Downs in Albuquerque, said Melisa Pacheco, Jason’s wife.
Jason Pacheco had T-shirts made to promote his own team called the “Beat Down,” said Melisa Pacheco. She said her husband wanted to promote another fight.
“He had a good time being an ultimate fighter,” she said. “That was his passion and hobby and I always supported him in what he wanted to do.”
The son of Albert and Christine Pacheco, Jason Pacheco worked in the family business, Pacheco’s Trucking & Construction Co.
“He was an operator and foreman. He did everything there, including the asphalt laying of the roads,” said Melisa Pacheco.
Most recently, he had finished redoing one of the company’s big trucks that had been in an accident. He was proud of the finished job, Melisa Pacheco said. He enjoyed fixing up old cars, as well.
He often gave clothes to the homeless and he was very generous, she said.
At home, he was also known as a cook, whether it was from the kitchen or the grill.
He liked the challenge of four-wheelers and set up tracks in the back yard.
And last year, he got a 2006 Big Dog motorcycle, which he liked almost as much as fighting.
Fighting was one of Jason Pacheco’s most avid interests said his wife and cousins.
“He and his grandpa (Mike) Diaz used to watch the fights together on Tuesday nights,” Melisa Pacheco said. “He loved watching boxing and his ultimate fighting.”
Jason Pacheco had turned his garage into a gym, with wresting mats on the floor, she said. “He would have his friends over and they would practice.”
Several years ago, Jason Pacheco had set up training for extreme fighting in a gym downtown. “He wanted to teach the sport to the community,” she said.
Melisa Pacheco said her husband was downtown on Thursday night with one of his team fighters in preparation for the fight on Friday night.
“He’d gone to support them,” she said.
Many of the fighters went to a gym where they were being weighed in for the various classes in the Desert Xtreme Blood War event that was to be at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
“We loved him so much,” Melisa Pacheco said. “He’s got a large immediate family that loved him. He was a loving guy.”
Melisa and Jason Pacheco were married in 2002, but had been together for several years before that, she said.
Jason Pacheco was a 1994 graduate of Tucumcari High School. Melisa graduated from THS in 2000.
Survivors include his wife, two children, a son, A.J. Pacheco, 8, and daughter, Shianne Pacheco, 9, his parents, Albert and Christine Pacheco, a sister, Shirley Pacheco, and a brother, Josh Pacheco.
Funeral arrangements in Tucumcari are pending.