Joshua Pacio to defend ONE strawweight title against familiar foe in Jakarta

Joshua Pacio, Hayato Suzuki, ONE Championship

World champion Joshua Pacio will be out for redemption when he puts his ONE Championship belt on the line next year.

Pacio (16-2-0), the undisputed ONE Strawweight World Champion, bids to avenge his only defeat in almost 500 days when he takes on Japan’s Hayato Suzuki (20-1-2) in Indonesia. The pair will square off in the main event at ONE: Eternal Glory, set for Istora Senayan in Jakarta on 19 January.

Pacio, who is riding a four-bout win streak, looks to defend his crown for the first time.

“The Passion,” who hails from Baguio City, Philippines, captured the ONE strawweight title with a unanimous decision victory over former titleholder Yoshitaka Naito at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES last September.

It was an epic rematch between the two warriors, as Pacio put together the performance of a lifetime to claim the prestigious title.

The 22-year-old Filipino has shown tremendous improvement over the past few years leading up to his title reign. And with the belt firmly in his grasp, Pacio aims to make a successful first defense against the last man to defeat him.

Suzuki, who hails from Takahagi City, first met Pacio in his promotional debut at ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in August 2017.

The 32-year-old scored a shocking first-round submission victory, forcing the Filipino to tap out via rear-naked choke. Since then, the Japanese grappler has been on a tear, winning his last three bouts with the same submission hold.

None of the bouts have gone past the second round, with Suzuki overcoming Thailand’s Pongsiri Mitsatit, Filipino Robin Catalan and Brazil’s Yago Bryan in quick time.

An experienced grappler, Suzuki looks to replicate that stellar run of form in the highly anticipated rematch against Joshua Pacio.

This ONE: Eternal Glory card is expected to be the first to air on TNT as part of ONE Championship’s new American broadcast deal.