ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio targets successful title defense to begin 2019

Santino Honasan on Jan 19, 2019 09:14 AM
Joshua Pacio targets successful title defense to begin 2019
Joshua Pacio and Yosuke battle for the ONE Strawweight World Championship at ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta, Indonesia

Filipino mixed martial arts star and reigning ONE Championship Strawweight World Champion Joshua "the Passion" Pacio is looking to begin the year strong as he puts his title on the line against Japanese challenger Yosuke Saruta in the main event of ONE: Eternal Glory on Saturday, January 19th at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

The youngest of four world champions from the famed Team Lakay stable up in La Trinidad, Benguet, the 23-year old Pacio will be defending his title for the first time since becoming champion back in September of 2018, defeating two-time titleholder Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito via decision in a highly-anticipated rematch. 

Once again, Pacio faces a well-rounded Japanese veteran in Jakarta, but this time around, he has the target on his back. 

The winner of four straight fights, Pacio looks to continue his impressive winning streak and remain as the top dog in ONE's stacked strawweight division. More importantly, the young star hopes to be able to set the tone for his fellow Team Lakay world champions, who will also be defending their titles in the coming months. 

Focused on bringing ONE Championship's strawweight strap back home to Japan, Yosuke Saruta challenges for the title in just his second fight under the promotion. 

The former Shooto Strawweight World Champion made an immediate impact in his ONE debut back in December, dominating former champion Alex Silva en route to a unanimous decision. 

It was this standout performance that earned Saruta the spot after fellow Japanese fighter Hayato Suzuki was forced to pull out due to an injury. 

Now, the Japanese veteran looks to win the title for himself and once again hoist world championship gold. 

Also on the card, Team Lakay featherweight Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly meets Singaporean star Christian "The Warrior" Lee in a much-awaited rematch. 

All eyes will be on this featherweight clash after their first meeting ended in a bit of controversy. 

Lee was slapped with a disqualification after landing a slam - that left Kelly unable to continue - was ruled illegal. 

Now, Kelly looks to earn a proper victory over Lee, while the latter is looking to erase the bitter memory of his disqualification loss.

Plus, Filipino strawweight Robin Catalan steps up against hometown hero Stefer Rahardian. 

Catch ONE: Eternal Glory on Saturday, January 19th, 11:00 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! 

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