Pacio's Saruta KO lands in ONE's top list

Published October 7, 2021, 3:13 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Team Lakay added another highlight reel in their fabled story in mixed martial arts as ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio landed on the promotion’s top list after knocking out Japanese rival Yosuke Saruta last month.

Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio (right) lands an overhand right hand to Yosuke Saruta in their trilogy bout in ONE: Revolution last September 24. (ONE Championship)

Pacio’s victory landed in ONE: Revolution at the second spot on Jay Furness’ list for the Top 5 MMA KOs from July to September.

READ: Pacio grateful to Saruta for learning experience

The 25-year-old, who displayed a calm and composed demeanor throughout the fight, only needed less than five minutes to settle their trilogy on a high note.

The Igorot warrior displayed precise counter striking as he deflected Saruta’s low kicks.

READ: With Saruta now in the past, Joshua Pacio focuses on future

The Team Lakay stalwart eventually caught the Japanese icon off guard, catching one costly low kick and unloading a right overhand that sent Saruta down the canvas.

As the hunt continues, Pacio chased Saruta down, threw another vicious left hook for another knockdown and continued the punishment at the corner cage with multiple left hooks before referee Justin Brown halted the match.

READ: Pacio sets sights on Naito trilogy, bout with Masunyane

Pacio improved to a 20-3 record on top of eight KOs and nine submissions to defend his strawweight belt for the third straight time while Saruta fell to a 21-10 slate.

Completing the list are Eko Roni Saputra’s 10-second right hook KO over Liu Peng Shuai, Aung La N Sang’s triumphant comeback over Leandro Ataides with multiple punches, Kim Jae Woong’s upset win over featherweight star Martin Nguyen with precise counterpunching, and Xie Wei’s heavy body shot against Dae Hwan Kim.

Last March, Team Lakay’s women’s strawweight contender Jenelyn Olsim also made it to the Top 5 submissions after executing a slick guillotine choke over Brazilian veteran Maira Mazar to take over the No. 5 seat.