Joshua Pacio tries to regain his ONE Strawweight World Title when he battles champion Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta as co-main event of ONE: Roots of Honor on April 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In the main event ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen defends his title against former featherweight kingpin Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia.
Team Lakay veteran Pacio lost his crown in his first defense when he faced Saruta during ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta, Indonesia. Saruta was a late replacement to Hayato Suzuki who had to bow out due to injury.
A former Shooto champion Saruta attacked relentlessly and repeatedly put Pacio on his back with takedowns. Pacio relied on his superior striking and counters to keep Saruta at bay. In the end Saruta earned the split decision nod from the judges.
Nguyen set ONE Championship history 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.
He wasn’t as successful in 2018. Nguyen dropped down to bantamweight to challenge ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes. He came up just short and 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.
He then 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 worthy challenger. He has a 14-5 record, and he’s been in the cage with the best featherweights in the promotion.
Both Nguyen and Jadambaa will be coming back from long layoffs and may suffer from cage rust. Jadambaa will have been out of action for nine months when he steps in with Nguyen.
ONE Championship (ONE) is the largest global sports media property in Asian history, and the largest producer of millennial live sports content in Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, ONE is the Home of Martial Arts, and is the world’s largest martial arts organization, hosting bouts across all styles of martial arts such as Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, Kung Fu, Silat, Sanda, Lethwei, Mixed Martial Arts, Tae Kwon Do, Submission Grappling, and more.