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Pacio concludes Saruta trilogy with knockout win, retains ONE belt

IN THE COMPANY OF CHAMPIONS. ONE FC straw weight champion Joshua Pacio retained his belt after a knockout win on Yosuke Saruta during the ONE Revolution at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday night. Here, the Team Lakay champion, right front row, is painted on a mural at the Baguio athletic bowl with Team Lakay founder Mark Sangiao, former ONE champions Kevin Belingon (bantamweight) and Eduard Folayang (lightweight); as well as champions Stephen Loman (Brave bantamweight); Crisanto Pitpitunge (PXC Championship bantamweight); Honorio Banario (ONE featherweight); and Geje Eustaquio (One flyweight). The mural was done by Team Lakay artist-martial artist Harold Banario who sees action in the Brave FC. Pigeon Lobien / RNG Luzon

Joshua Pacio retained his ONE straw weight belt by knocking out Yosuke Saruta and conclude their best of three showdown Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and one of the three main events of the 11-bout ONE Revolution.

And it was a win in dominating fashion as The Passion concluded the trilogy with another knockout in the first round to follow up his knockout victory in April 2019 when he used a flying knee to regain the belt he lost three months prior via split decision.

Pacio, 20-3, won via TKO at the 3:38 mark of the first round to retain his crown after a long sideline due to the Covid-19 pandemic and an injury.

The Japanese came out strongly but the Team Lakay stalwart responded with low kicks. Saruta then changed his tactic by using jabs and overhands until Pacio took him down at the 90th second mark. Saruta fought back as he tried to find an opening.

Pacio then unleashed a right to the chin that stunned the Japanese who backed down which was followed by another right as Saruta started backing down.

It was the beginning of the end for Saruta as Pacio pounded him with punches driving the challenger to the fence where punches were further rained down on him forcing him to his knees. Resistance was futile then as he failed to stop the barrage of punches putting an end to the fight.

It was two for two for Team Lakay after Lito Adiwang bucked three low blows and delivered flying kicks and knees on Hexi Getu to win via unanimous decision.

Adiwang suffered three low blows on his groin from the pound for pound great who was issued yellow cards from the referee and each costing 10 percent purse deduction but was the dominant fighter in the next two frames to cruise to the win.

The ONE Revolution saw a new lightweight king when Korean Ok Rae Yoon upset Christian Lee via unanimous decision in the main event.

Bantamweight kickboxing world champion Capitan, on the other hand, retained his title after beating Mehdi Zatout via unanimous decision.

Kim Jae Wong scored a first round knockout on former ONE featherweight king Martin Nguyen in just 3:15 of action.

In the other preliminary bouts, Anatoly Maylkhin earned for himself a shot at the heavyweight crown when knocked out Amir Aliskbari in the 2:57 frame of the first round; the youngest of the Lee siblings, Victoria, called The Prodigy, earned her third straight win by stopping Victoria Souza; Taiki Naito scored a split decision win on Petchdam; while Marcus Almeida needed only two minutes and 55 seconds to submit Anderson Silva using a north-south choke; Petchtanong won via unanimous decision over Zhang Chenglong; and, James Young defeats Filipino Roel Rosauro via technical knockout at 2:00 minutes of the second round.

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