ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio Feels Late Takedown Won The Match For Yosuke Saruta

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 21, 2019 02:49 PM
Pacio Feels Late Takedown Won The Match For Saruta
"I was controlled in the final round with his ground and pound. I think that's how he got ahead on the scorecards."

Joshua “The Passion” Pacio fell short in his first World Title defense, and he is not making any excuses.

The 23-year-old Team Lakay prodigy lost the ONE Strawweight World Title to Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY, which emanated from the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia last Saturday.

Pacio lost the five-round affair via razor-thin split decision and though it stings, he knows exactly where things went wrong.

"I think experience played a factor, but it was also up to me. If only I upped my work rate, perhaps the decision went to my favor," admitted Pacio.

"I was controlled in the final round with his ground and pound. I think that's how he got ahead on the scorecards."

The La Trinidad, Benguet native was on the receiving end of Saruta's aggression the entire evening. But as the Japanese challenger kept his nonstop pace from opening bell, “The Passion” was equally impressive in tagging the veteran with clean, crisp counters.


It was a close battle up until the waning moments of the final stanza, when “Tobizaru” got a huge takedown. Pacio felt that was the turning point of the match.

"In round five, I had a feeling that the fight would end in a split decision, so I worked to score a takedown. We exchanged strikes in the middle of the cage, then suddenly it was me on the mat," he explained.

"That was my mistake, so I have to review what happened and watch the fight again. This fight is a huge learning experience. The loss motivates me to keep training and improve my weaknesses in both my attacks and defense."


It was not the kind of start that Pacio hoped for the team as he became the first World Champion from Team Lakay to drop his belt.

But that loss would only make him better, and with youth on his side, Pacio vows to bounce back stronger for another title run in the future.

"I really missed on a lot of things, the next time I fight, I want to be able to do everything I trained for.”

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