Tomorrow evening, the Mall of Asia Arena will witness the championship rematch as Joshua Pacio challenges Yosuke Saruta for the Stawweight title in ONE: Roots of Honor. 

After a controversial meeting last January in Indonesia to headline the promotion’s first event of the year, the two fighters will slug it out again after builtlding a rivalry of their own.

The former Shooto champion, Yosuke Saruta walked away as the victor after getting the nod from the judges in their previous meeting with a razor-thin split decision, which many believes resulted in a clouded outcome.

However, the Team Lakay standout is confident to take back his crown in front of his beloved countrymen.

“I would like to thank ONE Championship for giving me another chance to fight for the title. I know the magnitude of this matchup and how important this rematch with Yosuke Saruta is. I wasn’t at my best in that first fight, so I want to go out there and prove that I can do much better”, said Pacio.

However, the Filipino fighter also recognized how good of a fighter Saruta is, vowing to showcase his full arsenal against his Japanese rival.

“He’s a great fighter, and I have so much respect for him. But I have the hopes and dreams of an entire country on my shoulders, and I can’t let the fans down. I’m coming to regain the belt. It’s going to be a war this Friday”, concluded Pacio.

Meanwhile, the Japanese mixed martial artist is proud to carry his country through the sport.

“Coming to the Philippines and representing Japan and the Japanese culture, it is such a huge honor for me.”

Known as the “Tobizaru”, he also acknowledged Pacio as a good fighter but he has other plan in mind and prove that his first win was no fluke at all.

“I know Joshua Pacio has a lot of fans here, and I respect him as a martial artist. All I can say is that we will both bring our best into the cage this Friday night. It’s going to be an exciting fight, and I plan on getting my hand raised in the end as the victor. Thank you all for having me”, Saruta ended.

The Strawweight Championship is on the line in ONE: Roots of Honor’s co-main event tomorrow night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

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