By CARLO ANOLIN
ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio proved that he’s not yet rusty with a stunning first-round technical knockout win over Japanese rival and No. 1 contender Yosuke Saruta, marking his third straight title defense in ONE: Revolution at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday night, Sept. 24.
Pacio once again found another huge loophole on Saruta’s defense with a quick reaction time to catch the low kick and countered with a powerful right overhand punch that sent the Japanese fighter crashing down the canvas.
Though Saruta quickly stood back at his feet, the Team Lakay stalwart bombarded him with a barrage of punches forcing referee Justin Brown to shove Pacio aside and halt the match at the 3:38 mark.
Pacio improved to a 20-3 record, the most wins in the strawweight division, while Saruta fell to a 21-10-3 win-loss-draw card.
It was a big night for Team Lakay as Lito Adiwang continued his winning ways, coming through with a unanimous win over Chinese Hexigetu.
Adiwang, feeling all the hype and the energy from a cheerful crowd, displayed striking mastery and showcased his classic wushu style against a flat-footed Hexigetu.
Adiwang, living up to his nickname “The Thunder Kid,” caught Hexigetu off guard with his lightning-fast flying kicks and knees.
Hexigetu was hounded by back-to-back yellow cards from referee Justin Brown after three straight accidental groin strikes landed on Adiwang.
The 28-year-old Team Lakay stalwart improved to a 13-3 record while Hexigetu saw his three-match win streak snap and fell to a 9-5 card.