[PHOTOS] Japan vs Philippines: Yosuke Saruta, Joshua Pacio fight at ‘ONE: Roots of Honor’ in Manila

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Japan and Cuba were among the 18 countries represented at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” It was the second ONE Championship event in 2019 held in the Philippines.

The fighters on the main card of “ONE: Roots of Honor” had their face-off during the press conference at the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 9, 2019. Led by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, the panel included representatives from sponsors namely Holcim Philippines Inc. senior vice president and head of sales William C. Sumalinog, City of Dreams Manila senior vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Benning and Grab Philippines transport team head Chris Taylor.

Featuring two kickboxing contests, two Muay Thai bouts and 11 mixed martial arts matches, “ONE: Roots of Honor” took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 12, 2019. In the co-main event, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, of the Philippines challenged reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta, 31, of Japan.

Blue Corner

Pacio started his martial arts journey when he was 12 years old. Training out of Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, he made his ONE Championship debut in 2016.

On September 22, 2018, Pacio became the new ONE Strawweight World Champion but lost the title to Saruta on January 19, 2019. “ONE: Roots of Honor” marked the Filipino fighter’s 11 ONE Championship bout.

Red Corner

Saruta was 18 years old when his martial arts journey began. He made his professional MMA debut in 2008 and joined ONE Championship in 2018.

“ONE: Roots of Honor” marked the Filipino fighter’s third ONE Championship bout. He previously competed in Shooto.

Fight Result

The ONE Strawweight World Championship bout between Saruta and Pacio was a rematch. Kemp Cheng served as the referee.

Cheng put a stop to the contest after 2 minutes and 34 seconds in the fourth round when Pacio knocked out Saruta via head kick. This made the Team Lakay athlete the second ONE Championship athlete to become the champion in the strawweight division twice following Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, 35, of Japan.

Winning at “ONE: Roots of Honor” improved Pacio’s professional MMA record to 17 wins and 3 losses. On the other hand, Saruta now has 19 wins, 9 losses and 3 draws.

“ONE: Roots of Honor” Main Event

In the main event, reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam defended his belt against former champion Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa, 43, of Mongolia. The Vietnamese-Australian defending champion knocked out the Mongolian challenger in the second round.

Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States were also represented at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” Check the complete results on Conan Daily.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

‘ONE: Roots of Honor’ to be headlined by Martin Nguyen’s return, Yosuke Saruta vs Joshua Pacio rematch

'ONE: Roots of Honor' poster

ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen is coming back, and he’s ready to defend his title in the main event of ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR on 12 April at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Nguyen will be facing former featherweight kingpin Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia.

Nguyen took over the ONE world in 2017 when he captured a World Championship in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. He scored exciting one-punch KO wins over Marat Gafarov and Eduard Folayang to earn the belts, and the Vietnamese-Australian martial artist was on top of the world. The year 2018 was a bit more challenging.

Nguyen attempted to drop down to bantamweight to challenge ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes. He came up just short when he lost by split decision in March 2018. Nguyen would rebound with a split-decision victory over Christian Lee in a rematch in May 2018, but the Situ-Asian would lose his second bout of the year in July 2018 when he battled Kevin Belingon for the interim bantamweight title.

The quest for unprecedented greatness might have done a number of Nguyen’s body. He suffered an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the year, the entire first quarter of 2019 and forced him to relinquish the lightweight belt. Now that he is fully healthy and still the ONE Featherweight World Champion, he is ready to return to the cage and defend his title.

Jadambaa is a proven ONE veteran who has compiled a 14-5 record, and he’s been in the cage with the best featherweights in the promotion. In fact, Jadambaa has faced and lost to Gafurov twice by rear-naked choke. The first defeat took place in 2015 and the most recent was in 2016. Jadambaa was set to face Tetsuya Yamada in 2017, but the bout was canceled and the Mongolian wound up sitting out the entire year.

However, he did come back strong in 2018. Jadambaa competed twice in less than a month. He defeated Edward Kelly via second-round TKO on 23 June, and then came back on 13 July to defeat Kazuki Tokudome by decision.

Nguyen won’t be the only competitor potentially suffering from cage rust. Jadambaa will have been out of action for nine months when he steps in with Nguyen. It will be interesting to see if either man shows ill effects from their layoff.

In the co-main event, another ONE World Title will be on the line. Reigning champion Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta will defend his ONE Strawweight World Title in a rematch with the Philippines’ own Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.

In the first meeting, Saruta stepped in as a late replacement for Hayato Suzuki, who had to bow out due to injury. Pacio seemed to be primed for the rematch with Suzuki after he’d lost to the Japanese veteran in their first bout. It’s possible Pacio took Saruta lightly. It’s also possible Saruta was just better on the night the two men initially clashed. Perhaps it was a combination of both.

In any case, Pacio and Saruta will have a rematch with Pacio having an opportunity to avenge the defeat and regain his title, or the current champion can prove the first win was no fluke.

8 things you need to know about ‘ONE: Roots of Honor’

'ONE: Roots of Honor' poster

ONE Championship follows up their huge card in Japan on March 31, 2019 with a sizable event in Manila, Philippines. “ONE: Roots of Honor” marks the return of ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen. He will be defending his title against Mongolia’s Narantungalag Jadambaa in the main event.

The co-main event is a championship rematch that will see newly crowned ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke Saruta defend his belt against Joshua Pacio, the man he shocked in January 2019 at “ONE: Eternal Glory” as a late replacement. Here are eight things you should know about “ONE: Roots of Honor.”

1. A Plethora of Countries Represented

Nguyen represents both Vietnam and Australia, and in total, the flags of 16 different countries will be carried in the Philippines.

Each ONE event offers an amalgamation of martial artists from around the globe, and as you can see from the number of regions with athletes in action, “ONE: Roots of Honor” is no different. There will be a wide range of fans with rooting interests in these bouts.

2. 3 Different Disciplines

ONE continues to show its diversity in the world of martial arts. In addition to mixed martial arts, “ONE: Roots of Honor” also features a kickboxing match and two Muay Thai bouts. That should provide a lovely accent of action to augment the martial arts display on top of the mixed martial arts matches on tap.

3. Biggest KO Artists

Many athletes on this card have impressive KO numbers. China’s Kai Tang has eight victories in 10 professional bouts, and all of them have come by TKO or KO. His 100% KO rate is the highest on the card.

Japanese strawweight Akihiro Fujisawa isn’t that far behind him in the area of KO%. Four of his five wins have come by KO or TKO.

The event’s headliner and defending World Champion Nguyen has a KO rate of 64%. Seven of his 11 victories have come by KO or TKO, which is even more impressive when you consider he began his career known primarily for his grappling.

The 39-year-old Luis Santos doesn’t have one of the three highest KO rates, but his 37 wins by KO/TKO is by far the most of any athlete on the card.

4. Greatest Submission Specialists

Eric Kelly has 12 wins in his career, and nine of them have come by submission. His 75% submission rate is the most impressive of any athlete on the card. Also noteworthy in the area of submissions is Leandro Issa’s ten subs in 16 wins and Pacio’s seven submissions in 13 wins. With so many gifted grapplers, it seems inevitable we’ll see at least a few of the matches come to an end via tap out.

5. Promotional Debuts

Indonesia’s Eko Roni Saputra is making his mixed martial arts debut, but the promotional debut that most will have their eyes on is that of Vietnam’s Bi Nguyen. She recently signed with ONE amidst some fanfare, having been a contestant on the hit reality game show Survivor, and she’ll get an opportunity to compete for the first time under the promotion’s banner at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR. Nguyen comes into her bout with Dwi Ani Retno Wulan with a record of 4-3. The 29-year-old will be looking to gain some traction and take the next step in her career.

6. The Undefeated

There are a few athletes on the card who are very early in their careers, such as Saputra, Wulan (1-0) and even Fujisawa (5-0), but the undefeated martial artist who stands out on this card is the American James Nakashima. He was a coveted prospect before signing with ONE in 2018.

Nakashima will put his undefeated 10-0 record on the line against the dangerous Santos in a significant step-up in competition for the American.

7. Hometown Heroes

The Manila crowd will surely be up in arms for Pacio, but there are more Filipinos set to compete in front of their home crowd. The Kelly brothers Edward and Eric will be joined by Ramon Gonzales who will open the show against the hard-punching Fujisawa.

8. The Champions and Challengers

Martin Nguyen hasn’t competed since losing a battle for the interim ONE Bantamweight World Ttle in July 2018. Nguyen suffered an injury that has kept him out of action since that unanimous-decision defeat.

At one point in 2018, Nguyen was the reigning ONE Lightweight and Featherweight World Champion, and he challenged the great Bibiano Fernandes for his bantamweight belt. He still holds the featherweight strap and is looking to defend it at “ONE: Roots of Honor.”

Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Jadambaa has twice been thwarted by Russia’s Marat Gafurov. This time, he aims for Gafurov’s conqueror, Nguyen. Styles make fights, so we’ll see if Jadambaa can do what Gafurov could not.

Saruta has something to prove. He defeated Pacio via split decision in January after replacing Hayato Suzuki, but the surprise victory wasn’t as definitive as some might desire. Thus Pacio has been granted an immediate rematch in his home country. If Saruta can emerge victoriously, he will have made a statement.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

‘ONE: Roots of Honor’ title bouts: Martin Nguyen vs Narantungalag Jadambaa, Yosuke Saruta vs Joshua Pacio

'ONE: Roots of Honor' poster

ONE Championship has just announced the initial bouts to take place at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR on April 12, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Once again, the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent will grace the ONE Championship stage and showcase their world-class skills.

In the main event, reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Vietnam and Australia will defend his title against former World Champion Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia. In the co-main event of the evening, a highly-anticipated rematch takes place when former World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio of the Philippines challenges reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta of Japan.

Ticket information for ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR is available at www.onefc.com.

Reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen is back in action against former World Champion Narantungalag Jadambaa.

The 29-year-old Nguyen has become one of the most prolific Asian martial arts talents over the past few years, winning seven of his last nine contests. In 2015, he embarked on an unprecedented six bout winning streak, along the way capturing both the ONE Featherweight and ONE Lightweight World Titles in the process to become a simultaneous two division World Champion.

After falling to injury however, Nguyen was prompted to vacate the lightweight strap last November. Now, with Nguyen fully recovered, the Vietnamese-Australian stalwart is slated to make his much-awaited return to action against the dangerous veteran Jadambaa.

Jadambaa burst onto the ONE Championship stage in May of 2014, defeating the Philippines’ Honorio “The Rock” Banario. He has since been a winner of six of his last eight contests. In 2014, he captured the ONE Featherweight World Title with a victory over Koji Oishi. Over the years, Jadambaa has defeated some of ONE Championship’s biggest names, with notable victories coming over Kotetsu Boku, Eric and Edward Kelly, and Kazuki Tokudome.

Nguyen and Jadambaa meet for the first time in the main event of ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR, in a five-round World Title tiff that promises loads of action and fireworks.

In the co-main event of the evening, the Philippines’ Joshua “The Passion” Pacio looks to exact revenge over his conqueror Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta of Japan. Saruta scored a monumental upset when he defeated Pacio via extremely close split decision at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY earlier this year to capture the ONE Strawweight World Title.

After Pacio’s initial opponent, Hayato Suzuki, was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury, it was Saruta who was tapped to take his place in the main event opposite the Filipino.

Using his world-class striking and grappling skills, Saruta put together a comprehensive performance, upsetting Pacio to capture the belt. However, the extremely close result was enough to warrant an immediate rematch between the two. Now, the two have the chance to settle the score once and for all to determine who is the true king at strawweight.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.