It has been another action-packed year for the Philippines in ONE Championship, and while the results have varied for the country’s local athletes, it has been an exciting 2019 nonetheless.
From the athletes of Team Lakay to the warriors from Catalan Fighting System, there was no shortage of breathtaking stoppages that fans will remember for a long time.
Here are five of the greatest hits from the local athletes in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Joshua Pacio vs Yosuke Saruta II
ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR
There is no question why Joshua “The Passion” Pacio deserves to top this list.
After dropping the ONE Strawweight World Title to Yosuke “Ninja” Saruta at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY in January, Pacio reclaimed his strap three months later in emphatic fashion.
The 23-year-old landed a beautiful knee to the head in the fourth round of their rematch, sending his Japanese face first into the canvass as the jam-packed Mall Of Asia Arena crowd erupted.
The win was so convincing that ONE CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong did not find the need to grant Saruta a rubber match right after.
Robin Catalan vs Gustavo Balart
ONE: MASTERS OF FATE
While his older brother, Rene, has taken the spotlight this year for the Catalan Fighting System, Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan had his time in the limelight after a highlight reel win over Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart in November.
After showing impressive wrestling defense in the first round, the 30-year-old landed a head kick, putting out the lights on the crowd favorite to end the up-and-down year with a win.
Though his brother lost in the main event later in the night, the younger Catalan’s victory proved there is more to watch out for from the CFS camp in 2020.
Geje Eustaquio vs Toni Tauru
ONE: MASTERS OF FATE
Coming off the first knockout loss of his career, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio knew he had to put out a jaw-dropping performance in his rematch with Toni “Dynamite” Tauru to get his groove back.
He did exactly that.
After surviving a first round scare from the Finn, Eustaquio found his redemption in the third round after scoring a beautiful spinning back kick to the body to claim the walk-off knockout win.
Jeremy Miado vs Li Tao Miao
ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS
Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado ended his year with an amazing comeback win over Miao Li Tao last November in Beijing.
Miado survived two submission attempts from the hometown favorite, before landing a crushing knee off the scramble to stun the partisan crowd midway through the first round.
It was a much needed win for Miado, especially since he was coming off a stoppage loss to Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in February.
With an impressive win over Miao, this could very well pave the way for a rubber match between him and the legendary Thai.
Rene Catalan vs Yoshitaka Naito
ONE: REIGN OF VALOR
Rene “The Challenger” Catalan’s career-changing win over Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito may not be as swift as those mentioned above, but it is just as devastating and as important.
Though he entered the contest on a five-match win streak, not many gave Catalan a chance against the former World Champion.
But Catalan was not to be denied. He stuffed every takedown attempt of Naito, before raining down punches from the top position to score a sensational TKO victory.
ONE Championship returns to martial arts action on January 10, 2020 for ONE: A NEW TOMORROW at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Catch all the action live and for free on the ONE Super App.
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