Singapore-based promotion One Championship kicked off its 2019 campaign in Jakarta, Indonesia, with an event entitled "Eternal Glory.” An electrifying title bout took place at the top of the bill, as the youngest strawweight champion in One history, Joshua Pacio, put his belt on the line against surging Japanese contender Yosuke Saruta.
Saruta showed off his superior wrestling and grappling skills by putting a lot of pressure on the defending champion right after the opening bell. The Japanese fight kept Pacio down for a while, but the champ managed to get back up. The Filipino fighter seemed to struggle in finding his opponent’s distance, which could be attributed in part to Saruta’s awkward stance. As minutes went by, it became clear that Pacio couldn’t find a solution to the Japanese enigma. The 23-year-old champion did his best work blending body kicks and spinning back fists, and that combination managed to bother the challenger at the end of the third stanza.
In the championship rounds, Pacio (13-3) found success with his counters, but Saruta (19-8-3) remained relentless in his takedown attempts. That script continued until the final second of the contest. In the end, the judges awarded Saruta a split-decision victory and the One Championship strawweight belt.
In the co-feature of the bill, Christian Lee (11-3) dominated Edward Kelly (11-4) and put an end to their lightweight contest via technical knockout 2:53 into the opening stanza. The Evolve MMA fighter mauled his opponent with some serious ground-and-pound shots, and referee Kemp Cheng called for a stoppage once it became clear Kelly wasn’t defending himself intelligently. In victory, Lee avenged a previous disqualification loss against Kelly at One Championship “Beyond the Horizon” on Sept. 8.
Elsewhere, Puja Tomar (4-3) spoiled the Indonesian party by defeating hometown girl Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol (5-4) in front of a partisan crowd in a strawweight affair. Tomar started the contest at a high-speed pace and busted her opponent up on the feet. After the action moved to the ground, the Indian fighter continued to damage Gaol from mount and the back. The 30-years-old fighter from Jakarta managed to survive the barrage and began to look more comfortable in the third round, but it wasn’t enough in the judges’ eyes, who awarded Tomar a split-decision victory.
In a 125-pound contest, Robin Catalan (9-4) edged local hero Stefer Rahardian (8-3) via unanimous decision. The 28-year-old Filipino wushu artist thoroughly displayed his striking and grappling superiority during the three rounds. The Catalan Fighting System representative bounced back after losing to Hayato Suzuki in his last bout this past October.
In the opening bout of the main card, Bruno Pucci (7-3) submitted Kotetsu Boku (26-13-2) at the 3:32 mark of the opening stanza in their lightweight clash. The Brazilian struggled to get the opponent on the ground but once he secured a takedown, Boku was doomed. Short thereafter, Pucci took his opponent’s back and secured tight rear-naked choke, which forced the Krazy Bee fighter to tap few seconds later. The MMA Evolve representative is now riding a two-bout winning streak.