ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong believes Joshua Pacio won fight with Saruta, says there will be a rematch

Santino Honasan on Jan 22, 2019 06:13 PM
ONE CEO Sityodtong believes Pacio won fight with Saruta
In my opinion, Joshua Pacio won because he won the exchanges, he landed the harder shots. Yes, he was taken down, but Saruta did nothing," - Chatri Sityodtong

Filipino mixed martial arts star and former ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio has been looking at the bright side of things since losing his title via split decision to Japan's Yosuke Saruta at ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta, Indonesia, just last Saturday. 

Now, the 23-year old can take solace in the fact that ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong believes that he won the fight as well. 

During the official press conference for ONE: Hero's Ascent at City of Dreams Grand Ballroom, Sityodtong gave his two cents about the recently-concluded strawweight world championship bout. 

"My personal opinion, as a life-long martial artist, I think Joshua Pacio won the fight. I was very disappointed," Sityodtong said. 

Pacio and Saruta battled back-and-forth for five rounds, before Saruta was declared the winner via split decision. The Japanese veteran used an onslaught of takedowns to grind out the decision win. 

Sityodtong went on to explain why he believed that the Filipino was the rightful winner, even if he was on the wrong end of the takedown on mutiple occassions. 

"In our rule set, there’s a very big difference between our rule set and the unified rule set. The unified rule set is, it’s a game. The last 30 seconds, I take you down, I win the round. If I do it enough times, I win the fight. But that’s not real martial arts, that’s just a game. Lay-and-pray is just a game."

The unified rule set, commonly used in most other mixed martial arts promotions, features a ten-point-must scoring system where in fights are scored by round. 

In contrast, ONE's rule does not score fights per round, but rather in its entirety. 

"Why was martial arts first invented? For defense. Self-defense. Can your stuff work in a real fight? In  my opinion, Joshua Pacio won because he won the exchanges, he landed the harder shots. Yes, he was taken down, but Saruta did nothing," Sityodtong explained further. 

Sityodtong however explained that he isnt' faulting the officials or the judges with the decision, but rather just stating his own personal opinion.

"I will tell you this, the officials over at ONE Championship are the very best in the world. Seven years, thousands of fights, they hardly, hardly ever make an error, so I can’t say that they made an error or not, but it was a close fight."

"Just for me, from my perspective, I thought Joshua won, so yes there will be a rematch," he added. 

Pacio, for his part, was nothing short of excited upon hearing that the boss thought he did enough to win, and that he would be getting another shot at the title. 

"Siyempre na-shock din, napaka-saya kasi sa tingin niya ako yung panalo, and nung sinabi niyang may rematch, na-excite na ako na bumalik sa training," said Pacio. "Pagkatapos nito, babalik na ako sa training."

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