Pacio reclaims title from Yosuke

JOSHUA “The Passion” Pacio of the famed Team Lakay reclaimed the ONE strawweight world title with a resounding knockout win over Japanese Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta on Friday in the co-main event of ONE: Roots of Honor at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The 23-year old Pacio’s shattering right knee strike to Saruta’s head sent the Japanese to Neverland at the 2:43 minute mark of the fourth round.

“This belt is ours,” said the Team Lakay standout after the bout.

“The Passion” flamboyantly opened the scheduled five-round contest with a spinning back kick to Saruta’s midsection.

Saruta, after failed attempts to bring the fight to the ground decided to trade punches and kicks with the Filipino en route to his KO loss in the fourth round.

“First of all, I want to thank God for the strength that he gave me and to my kababayan who came out to support us,” said Pacio in a postfight interview.

Joshua Pacio fires a spinning back kick against Japanese Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta on Friday in the co-main event of ONE: Roots of Honor at the
Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The two-time strawweight champion Pacio improved his record to 14 wins and three losses while Saruta’s dropped to 19-9.


Pacio lost the title in January during his first encounter with Saruta in Indonesia via split decision.

Pacio’s stablemate Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly also had a good night after he scored a second round technical knockout win against South Korean Sung Jong Lee in their featherweight contest.

The Baguio City-native Kelly improved his record to 12 wins and six losses while Lee absorbed his fifth loss against his two wins.

In the main event, reigning ONE featherweight champion Martin Nguyen also first retained his title after defeating Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia via second round knockout.

Nguyen delivered a textbook flying knee strike to shut down the Mongolian and remain the featherweight division kingpin.

“I’m an adopted Filipino. It is always nice to fight here in the Philippines,” said the 30-year old Nguyen, who was a crowd favorite.

Early in the fight night, Filipino Ramon Gonzales defeated Akihiro Fujisawa by submission with guillotine choke at the 1:19 minute mark of Round 1.

The only Filipino casualty was Eric Kelly who was KOed by Kwon Won Il, 19 seconds after the opening bell.

In other matches, Tatsumitsu Wada defeated Gustavo Balart via unanimous decision (flyweight world Grand Prix quarterfinal), Leandro Issa defeated Fu Chang Xin via submission (MMA catchweight), Andrei Stoica defeated Ibrahim El Bouni via unanimous decision (kickboxing heavyweight), James Nakashima defeated Luis Santos via TKO (MMA welterweight), Anderson Silva defeated Andre Meunier via KO (kickboxing heavyweight), Saemapetch Fairtex defeated Ognjen Topic via majority decision (muay thai bantamweight), Xie Bin defeated Ahmad Qais Jasoor via submission (MMA bantamweight), Niko Soe defeated Eko Roni via TKO (MMA flyweight), Lerdsila Phuket Top Team defeated Momotaro via unanimous decision (muay thai flyweight), and Bi Nguyen defeated Dwi Ani Retno Wulan via first-round TKO (MMA atomweight).


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The post Pacio reclaims title from Yosuke appeared first on The Manila Times Online.

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