ONE Championship returns to the Philippines one more time before the close of 2019, bringing with it a stacked card of elite martial artists.
This coming Friday, 8 November, current and former World Champions – along with local heroes and accomplished veterans – will grace ONE: MASTERS OF FATE at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila.
Ahead of the show, we review three of the best performances from the stars set to compete on this epic event.
Joshua Pacio’s World Title Knockout
In the finest win of his young career, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio hit the most spectacular of KOs – a leg kick turned into a spectacular knee strike – to defeat Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta and reclaim the ONE Strawweight World Title in April.
In the opening round, Pacio displayed his trademark wushu striking, which included a spinning back kick to his Japanese rival’s abdomen. He continued to unleash powerful combinations, but “The Ninja” returned with a few slick counters of his own.
Pacio was then dropped by Saruta, but he recovered quickly to deny his Japanese opponent the chance of a follow-up on the ground.
In the second and third rounds, both athletes traded on even terms, and it seemed like Pacio was waiting for the right moment to deliver the finish.
The Filipino warrior got his wish in the fourth round. Just as Saruta started to move forward with an overhand right, the hometown hero connected with a sensational head kick turned into a knee strike, which smacked the World Champion in the head and put him away.
In doing so, he took the throne as the reigning king of the strawweight division.
On Friday, Pacio defends his World Title against his compatriot Rene “The Challenger” Catalan in an all-Filipino showdown.
Eduard Folayang’s Finest Hour
Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is well-known throughout the Philippines for his legendary battles.
In a career glossed with phenomenal victories, his finest performance might be a matter of debate.
The Filipino warrior’s most memorable win possibly came during ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS in November 2018, when he captured the ONE Lightweight World Title for the second time.
Folayang defeated the division’s most prolific knockout artist, Amir Khan, via unanimous decision to earn the coveted belt.
“Landslide” rarely looked in danger over the course of five rounds. He kept Khan at bay with leg kicks and delivered a stunning array of spinning back elbows that rocked his Singaporean rival.
The Team Lakay standout even showcased his grappling when he scored a sensational takedown and slammed Khan to the mat.
After near domination, the three judges awarded the unanimous decision and the ONE Lightweight World Title to Folayang.
Fans can see their hometown hero back in action against Amarsanaa “Spear” Tsogookhuu in the co-main event of ONE: MASTERS OF FATE on Friday.
Geje Eustaquio’s Greatest Redemption
At ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio put on the best performance of his career to take the ONE Interim Flyweight World Title.
In a hugely anticipated rematch against Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, Eustaquio knew he had to make amends for his first loss against his rival in September 2017.
The Baguio City native showcased significant improvements in his game, and in the first round, he defended the grappling onslaught of Akhmetov. “Gravity” even managed to lock up a kneebar from his back late in the round.
A more confident Eustaquio continued to unload legs kicks and front kicks, which kept his foe from shooting for takedowns.
After five frustrating rounds for Akhmetov, Eustaquio earned the unanimous decision win and the ONE Flyweight World Title.
“Gravity” looks to hold it down once again on Friday in a highly-touted rematch against Toni “Dynamite” Tauru.
Check out ONE: MASTERS OF FATE, this Friday, 8 November.
Also, Channel 5 will cut-in to the live broadcast at 10:00pm SGT.
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