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.
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.
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.
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.