ONE Championship strawweight champion Joshua Pacio ends his long hiatus as he defends his belt in a trilogy with Japanese nemesis Yosuke Saruta in one of the featured fights of ONE – “Revolution” on Sept. 24, 2021 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
The 25-year-old Pacio will be back in the cage for the first time after his successful title defense against Alex Silva on Jan. 31, 2020.
Pacio and Saruta have a long history of rivalry since they first fought in 2019. Pacio won the ONE strawweight belt in 2018 with a unanimous decision over Yoshitaka Naito. He first defended his title against Saurat and the Japanese dethroned him by split decision in 2019. A few months later, Saurata had a rematch with Pacio, this time, the Filipino scored a fourth round knockout with a knee to reclaim the belt.
Since the rematch, Pacio has won back-to-back title defenses against compatriot Rene Catalan and former champin Silva.
Saruta, in the meantime, also won two fights in a row against Naito and Daichi Kitakata.
Pacio of Team Lakay is 19-3, while Saruta is 21-9-3.
Two other Filipinos are seeing action in the undercard – Team Lakay’s Lito Adiwang and Cebuano Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro.
Adiwang (12-3) takes on Chinese warrior Hexigetu (8-4).
Adiwang, one of Team Lakay’s promising prospects, is coming off a huge second round knockout win over Namiki Kawahara, while Hexigetu beat former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke by split decision.
Rosauro (5-3), a native of Camotes, is up against unbeaten American prospect James Yang.
Rosauro last saw action in 2020 with a unanimous decision over Yohan Mulia Legowo, while Yang makes his pro debut after going 6-0 in the amateur ranks.
The two other fights in the triple-header are a ONE lightweight championship fight between Christian Lee (15-3) and South Korean challenger Ok Rae Yun (15-3), and a ONE bantamweight kickboxing title fight between defending champion Capitan Petchyindee Academy (144-40-2) and Mehdi Zatout (77-39-1). (EKA)