MMA: Joshua Pacio loses close decision, ONE title in Jakarta

Santino Honasan, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Jan 20 2019 02:08 AM

Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Joshua Pacio was unsuccessful in his first world title defense, losing via split decision and dropping the ONE strawweight world championship to Japan's Yosuke Saruta in the main event of ONE: Eternal Glory, at Istora Senayan in Jakarta Saturday night.

Saruta was a man on a mission, as he relentlessly shot in for takedowns, and it paid dividends as the former Shooto champion repeatedly put Pacio on his back. 

Pacio found his timing in the later rounds, landing the more effective strikes and utilizing counters to score points. 

The Japanese grappler continued to control the cage, however, as he continued to drill Pacio with double-leg takedown attempts. 

After five rounds, it was Saruta who earned the split-decision nod. 

Pacio absorbed his third loss, while Saruta became a champion in just his second fight under the ONE banner. 

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