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4 Weapons To Watch When Joshua Pacio Takes On Yosuke Saruta

Jan 18, 2019

An unmissable World Championship encounter will headline ONE: ETERNAL GLORY on Saturday, 19 January in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Team Lakay’s Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will put his ONE Strawweight World Title on the line against Japanese challenger Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta, and it is an intriguing clash of styles between two explosive athletes.

When they collide inside the Istora Senayan, the action could go in any direction. Both men have shown excellence in every range on their way to the top of the strawweight division, and they are set to engage in a fascinating clash of styles when the opening bell rings.

Here are some of the most dangerous weapons both champion and challenger will bring to the cage this Saturday night in their attempts to outgun their opponent.

Powerful Spinning Attacks

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The Filipino World Champion comes from a wushu background, which gives him a crowd-pleasing style that is most famous for its blend of kicks and powerful spinning attacks. When he connects, the outcome is often spectacular.

They key to Pacio’s success with his spinning strikes is his footwork. He will attack with low kicks to the leg, and once his opponent tries to defend the thudding shots to the thigh, he can capitalize and launch a decisive attack.

This is epitomized in his memorable KO of Roy Doliguez. The boxing expert had eaten low kicks and was beginning to formulate his counter-strategy. Pacio again attacked the lead leg of the southpaw, but then used his right kick to step through and turn his hips.

Doliguez moved briefly away from the low kick and then tried to attack, but he was met with the full velocity of “The Passion’s” left hand as he turned quickly into a spinning backfist.

The same tactic can be used for his spinning back kicks, which gives him a variety of powerful strikes that cover a lot of distance.

A Bout-Ending Right Hand

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Saruta is a formidable foe who brings an excellent array of tools to the cage. One of them that can end a contest in an instant is his crunching right hand, which has become more dangerous since he joined Wajutsu Keishukai HEARTS gym in Tokyo.

Though it is unlikely we will see him darting in and out of the range like the Filipino, his powerful punch can send any opponent tumbling if they get caught in its path.

The World Champion will have to be particularly wary of it when he is attacking with kicks. Saruta likes to counter strikes to his legs and body by planting his feet and sending his rocket of a right hand towards his opponent’s head.

This could serve as a deterrent for Pacio and slow down his volume of strikes, which may, in turn, allow Saruta to close the distance much easier.

A Mark Sangiao Game Plan

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Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao has turned his Baguio City gym into Asia’s biggest mixed martial arts powerhouse. The four World Champions under his charge have showcased massive improvements in every area, as well as tactical excellence.

Recent showings from Kevin Belingon over Bibiano Fernandes and Eduard Folayang over Amir Khan were great examples of this, as was “The Passion’s” World Title-winning victory over Yoshitaka Naito in their rematch.

Sometimes an athlete’s strength comes from finding their opponent’s weakness. Sangiao instructed the 23-year-old to use a lower base and guard to fend off Naito’s wrestling attacks, and he adapted the strategy perfectly – just like when he found the route to victory by switching things up and taking Pongsiri Mitsatit to the ground.

Pacio believes that if he follows his coach’s directions, then victory will be his.

A Relentless Top Game

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Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Longtime BJJ brown belt Saruta has put his grappling skills to good use in mixed martial arts. He has excellent wrestling and judo to take a contest to the mat, and once he is there, it is hard to get free from his grasp.

Silva – a world-class ground specialist – struggled with “Tobizaru” in this range, so it is clear that it works against high-level opposition.

His stocky, short frame can smother his opponents, and he is strong and savvy enough to keep them on their back. From there, he can pile on the pressure with relentless ground and pound.

His power then comes into play, as he likes to rain down strikes to open up opportunities to pass guard, attempt a submission, or hold his position to unleash a finishing salvo.

Jakarta | 19 January | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super Apphttp://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Ticketshttp://bit.ly/oneglory19