In an absolute thriller, former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke battled ex-title challenger Joshua Pacio at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM, live from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 11 March.
The contest was extremely close, but the Philippines’ Pacio was able to pull away with a razor-thin split decision victory.
After a touch of the gloves, the two well-trained combatants came out kicking. Amnuaysirichoke pressured Pacio to begin the contest, and utilized his elite Muay Thai skills — the same skills that earned him three Lumpinee titles.
Pacio, a standout from Team Lakay, pushed the fight against the cage and swept the leg out to bring the Singaporean-based Thai to the canvas. The Filipino kept busy inside the guard, dropping strikes on his opponent, and ended the round in Amnuaysirichoke’s half guard as the Thai attempted to finish with an unorthodox guillotine.
Amnuaysirichoke, who trains out of Evolve MMA, pushed forward again with a number of kicks to start the second round. The Team Lakay product grabbed one of those kicks and pounced on a big takedown. With plenty of time left in the stanza, Pacio looked very comfortable in the top half guard position. Utilizing his pressure, he scored with punches and a straight armbar submission attempt, but was unable to finish.
For a moment, Amnuaysirichoke was able to make his way to his feet, but Pacio dragged him back to the ground. The round ended the same as the previous one, with the Filipino on top in the half guard.
The crowd erupted as the third frame began, and both fighters landed straight punches. Amnuaysirichoke pushed the action, but Pacio landed a number of strong counter shots. Nonetheless, the former champ continued pressing forward, and stuffed three straight takedown attempts from his opponent, who was beginning to get exhausted.
After a fourth failed takedown, the Thai put on a striking clinic, connecting with punch after punch to the head and body. The Evolve MMA dynamo showed his grit and finished the final round with a big kick that swept Pacio’s legs out from under him.
However, Amnuaysirichoke’s last-ditch effort did not pay off. Pacio was awarded the win via split decision, pushing his record to 9-1. As for his Thai opponent, he drops to 6-2, 10 months following his title loss to Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito in the same venue.