Filipino strawweights Joshua Pacio and Rene Catalan thrilled the Filipino crowd inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City to open ONE Championship: Reign of Kings.
The two Filipinos are most likely bound for an inevitable showdown, as they have become two of the top contenders in their division.
But it was the 22-year-old Pacio who scored the more thrilling victory.
The young stud of Team Lakay made quick work of previously-unbeaten Thai fighter Pongsiri Mitsatit, tapping him with a unique submission in the first round.
“Maybe that’s a Passionlock. I tried it before in the gym and I thought it will be best to try it here,” quipped Pacio.
The native of Baguio City immediately lifted Mitsatit to open the bout for a takedown. After a couple of switches, he was able to gain top position and rain on punches.
Mitsatit tried to turtle up to avoid the shots but it only exposed his back. Instead of locking a rear naked choke, Pacio chose to trap his opponent’s left arm, locking his foream and lifting it for the tapout.
This is Pacio’s third straight win to go to 15-2. On the other hand, this is Mitsatit’s first loss in 10 fights.
Catalan continued to roll, handing ONE Jakarta Flyweight Tournament winner Stefer Rahardian his first taste of defeat by way of a unanimous decision.
This is Catalan’s fifth straight win, lifting his record to 5-2. Moreover, the win gives him prime position to challenge ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito.
“I know my opponent is strong and young. He is a hungry fighter. Because of my responsibility to my fighters, I gave my all,” Catalan shared.
All throughout the bout, the native of Santa Barbara, Iloilo was on point with his strikes. The 39-year-old Wushu specialist peppered Rahardian with left leg kicks to keep him at bay. In addition, he was able to rock his opponent twice.
Whenever, Catalan was taken down by Rahardian, he stayed calm, keeping the Indonesian inside his guard.
With seconds left in the bout, Catalan turned up the heat, but time was not on his side. Still, his solid all-around outing was enough to have his hand raised.
This is Rahardian’s first loss in his young 10- fight career.
In the opening bout, Chinese fighter “The Stalker” Xie Bin (5-2) made quick work of Cambodian mixed martial artist Sor Sey (4-3). The 20-year-old fighter from Tianjin Top Team immediately took down his opponent with ease before slapping a power guillotine, putting Sor Sey to sleep.
ONE: Reign of Kings results
July 27, 2018 – SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
- Strawweight bout (MMA): Joshua Pacio def. Pongsiri Mitsatit via round 1 submission (3:37, armlock)
- Strawweight bout (MMA): Rene Catalan def. Stefar Rahardian via unanimous decision
- Featherweight bout (MMA): Xie Bin def. Sor Sey via round 1 submission (1:55, power guillotine)