Three Pinoys in action at ONE: Eternal Glory

Credit to Author: Tempo Online| Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 04:54:53 +0000

The best martial artists from all over the world are set to gather once again when ONE Championship opens 2019 with ONE: ETERNAL GLORY on Saturday, 19 January at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The stacked 14-bout event may be held on foreign soil, but it is not lacking in big bouts for Filipino talents.

Here are the marquee matches involving some of the best warriors from the Philippines in ONE’s maiden event for the year.

1. Joshua Pacio versus Yosute Saruta

Joshua Pacio (ONE Championship photo)

Joshua Pacio (ONE Championship photo)

Topping the list is the ONE Strawweight World Title clash between Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in the main event of the evening.

The five-round strawweight match-up is perfect to set the tone for The Home of Martial Arts this year, as aside from being two of the best in the world at their division, they’re also two of the most exciting.

Pacio, the current ONE Strawweight World Champion, is known for his ability to finish his opponents, having won 11 of his 13 matches by either TKO or submission.

In his recent victories against division top-dogs Yoshitaka Naito and Pongsiri Mitsatit, Pacio showed improved grappling skills which, alongside his top-notch striking, makes him a more dangerous athlete altogether.

Perhaps one of the only few strawweights to match his power, explosiveness, and incredible talent is Saruta.

The 31-year-old Japanese is known for his high motor, attacking with ferocity and mixing his elite striking with his world-class grappling.

In his last outing, Saruta catapulted himself to a World Title clash after defeating former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva in his promotional debut at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS last December.

Given the willingness of the two mixed martial artists to go big, expect fireworks from start to finish as only one can go home with the gold-plated strap around his waist.

2. Edward Kelly versus Christian Lee II

Edward Kelly | ONE Championship

Edward Kelly | ONE Championship

While all eyes are on Pacio’s title defense, one match which could potentially steal the show is the rematch between Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly and Christian Lee.

Their first match ended in disappointment after Lee was disqualified following an illegal suplex in the first round, giving Kelly the win.

With the Team Lakay slugger targeting a more decisive victory, and Lee looking to erase the memories of his controversial loss, it would not be a surprise to see this match end early.

A win here for either fighter will also put them in a good spot in an already-stacked Featherweight division.

3. Robin Catalan versus Stefer Rahardian

Robin Catalan (ONE Championship photo)

Robin Catalan (ONE Championship photo)

Filipino fans must start paying attention now to Robin “Ilonggo” Catalan as he is expected to have a breakout year in the world’s biggest martial arts organization.

But for that to materialize, he must overcome hometown hero Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian in front of what is expected to be a very active Jakarta crowd.

It will be a classic striker versus grappler affair with Catalan hoping to impose his top notch Muay Thai on the Indonesian grappling wizard.

While Catalan will be beaming of confidence, having won two of his last three fights, Rahardian is looking to get back on track after dropping his last two bouts following a nine-match winning run to start his career.

Given everything that is on the line, this strawweight battle has the potential to be a barn burner.