Youth just prevailed over experience.
Joshua Pacio retained his ONE strawweight world title over Filipino compatriot Rene Catalan in the main event of ONE: Masters of Fate, Friday night inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
In the last ONE Championship Manila fight card for 2019, the 23-year old Team Lakay product successfully defended his strawweight crown against the 40-year old wushu veteran in a rare All-Filipino world title scrap. Pacio submitted Catalan with an arm-triangle choke at the 2:30 mark of the second round to emerge victorious in his first title defense.
In the first round, with Pacio taking the fight to the ground, both combatants attempted heel hooks and ankle locks but neither succeeded in generating enough torque to force a tap. Pacio spun out of Catalan’s submission attempts, managing to bring the fight back up in the final seconds of the opening salvo.
Then in the second, Pacio finished off Catalan on the mat, floating over half guard to side control to latch on the submission.
Pacio raises his win-loss record to 15-3. Catalan, on the other hand, saw his six-fight winning streak end at the hands of his fellow Filipino fighter, sinking his MMA record to 6-3.
FOLAYANG EARNS TECHNICAL DECISION WIN OVER TSOGOOKHUU
Former ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang figured in an abbreviated bout against Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhuu, with the famed Filipino striker earning a technical decision win. A deep gash on the left cheek of Folayang, caused by an accidental clash of heads, called for the premature stoppage of the match as the five-minute recovery period elapsed for the injured wushu artist.
In the opening round, the Team Lakay bandleader strafed his opponent with inside leg kicks and those familiar spin kicks to the body to control the action. Folayang looked to continue with the tempo in the second but was caught by the unintentional headbutt that ended the featured bout.
Folayang even missed the traditional post-match press conference to receive stitches on the cut.
EUSTAQUIO RIPS THROUGH TAURU WITH SPIN KICK TO THE BODY
Geje Eustaquio lived up to his billing as the “Rematch King” after scoring a stoppage win over Toni “Dynamite” Tauru via spinning back kick at the 2:11 mark of the final round. The former ONE flyweight kingpin landed the Team Lakay signature onto the rib of the Finnish grappler, who crumpled to the canvas right after impact.
Eustaquio weathered an early assault by Tauru, who managed to take the Team Lakay bet down early in the opening round. Despite taking his opponent’s back, Tauru failed in his attempts to cinch in a rear-naked choke on Eustaquio. In round two, Eustaquio engaged Tauru in a standup battle but landed the more significant strikes – jabs, straights and push kicks. The Wushu/Sanda specialist even managed to deposit Tauru on the mat via a gorgeous sweep, sending the Pro-Filipino crowd to a frenzy.
With the win, Eustaquio avenged a December 2016 submission defeat to Tauru in ONE: Age of Domination, and also bounce back from a devastating knockout defeat to Yuya Wakamatsu last August.
Eustaquio hiked his win-loss slate to 13-8, while Tauru dropped to 11-8.