Three Filipino warriors, three stories to unfold at ONE: Kings and Conquerors in Macau
Santino Honasan on Aug 05, 2017 09:50 AM
Another impressive win in Macau could mean another title shot for Team Lakay's Joshua Pacio. (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
When the ONE Championship cage returns to the CotaiArena in Macau on Saturday, three Filipino warriors will take center stage, each with a different story behind them, but all looking for the same result: victory.
For Team Lakay rising star Joshua ‘The Passion’ Pacio, potentially another shot at world championship gold hangs in the balance, as he hopes to repeat history when he takes on unbeaten Japanese newcomer Hayato Suzuki in a strawweight contest.
The last time that Pacio left the CotaiArena with a win, almost exactly a year ago, he earned himself a shot at reigning ONE strawweight champion Yoshitaka Naito. While the 21-year old ultimately came up short in his first attempt at gold, he has since proven that he belongs among the division’s elite, and now finds himself in a similar possibly a win away from another crack at the title.
Standing in his way however, will be a tough test in Suzuki, who comes in with a perfect 16-0 slate, and will be looking to establish himself as a force in the strawweight division.
Redemption is the theme for Filipino MMA legend Eric ‘The Natural’ Kelly, who makes his in-cage return after a year on the shelf.
He hopes to snap a two-fight losing skid when he takes on former ONE lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku in a featherweight contest.
At 35 years old, Kelly could be nearing the twilight of his career, but the Pinoy is out to prove that he still has what it takes to compete at a high level.
Welcoming Kelly back to the cage will be none other than former ONE lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku. The 38-year old Japanese brawler will be looking for his second straight win as he tries to find his way back to the ONE title picture.
After winning her professional debut back in 2016, Jomary Torres will be making her ONE Championship debut against one of Asia's fastest rising stars in Thailand's Rika Ishige.
Torres makes the jump to the global stage as she tries to derail the momentum of Ishige, who has been impressive in her first two outings.
Headlining the stacked Macau card will be a pair of world championship bouts, as long-time ONE bantamweight titleholder Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes of Brazil goes for a record sixth title defense against American Andrew Leone, while lineal champion Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov of Kazakhstan takes on interim champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes of Brazil to unify the ONE flyweight world championship.
ONE Championship: Kings and Conquerors Full Fight Card
Bantamweight Championship: Bibiano Fernandes vs. Andrew Leone
Flyweight Championship: Kairat Akhmetov vs. Adriano Moraes
Lightweight: Timofey Nastyukhin vs. Koji Ando
78.5 KG Catchweight: Shannon Wiratchai vs. Rajinder Singh Meena
Strawweight: Josha Pacio vs. Hayato Suzuki
Featherweight: Eric Kelly vs. Kotetsu Boku
Bantamweight: Chen Lei vs. Saiful Merican
Atomweight: Rika Ishige vs. Jomary Torres
Bantamweight: Toni Tauru vs. Leandro Issa
Featherweight: Herbert Burns vs. Magomed Idrisov
Middleweight: Marcin Prachnio vs. Gilberto Galvao
Middleweight: Leandro Ataides vs. Michal Pasternak