ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong says Joshua Pacio will get ONE Strawweight World Championship rematch
As it turns out, it looks like Filipino mixed martial artist Joshua “The Passion” Pacio won’t be waiting too long for a world title-rematch after all.
At the official press conference for ONE: HERO’S ASCENT this past Tuesday in Manila, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong short of confirmed that former champion Pacio will be getting a rematch for the ONE Strawweight World Championship against the man that took the title from him, Japan’s Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta.
Pacio and Saruta figured in a five-round back-and-forth battle for the title in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY this past 19 January at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.
When all was said and done, Saruta was awarded the split decision win in a tightly-contested bout to become the new ONE Strawweight World Champion end becoming the first new champ of the new year.
For Sityodtong, he believes that Pacio should have retained his world title.
“My personal opinion, as a life-long martial artist, I think Joshua Pacio won the fight. I was very disappointed,” Sityodtong said bluntly.
“In our rule set, there’s a very big difference between our rule set and the unified rule set. The unified rule set is, it’s a game. The last 30 seconds, I take you down, I win the round. If I do it enough times, I win the fight. But that’s not real martial arts, that’s just a game. Lay-and-pray is just a game,” he continued, referring to the unified mixed martial arts rule set that most other organizations use, wherein a bout is judged per round using a ten-point-must system.
ONE on the other hand, judges their bouts in its entirety.
“Why was martial arts first invented? For defense. Self-defense. Can your stuff work in a real fight? In my opinion, Joshua Pacio won because he won the exchanges, he landed the harder shots,” Sityodtong expressed.
While Sityodtong was indeed critical of the decision, he clarified that he was not pinning the blame on the judges of the bout.
Sityodtong spoke highly of the officials handling the bout, touching on their experience throughout the years and saying that his thoughts were simply his personal view of what happened in the bout.
“I will tell you this, the officials over at ONE Championship are the very best in the world. Seven years, thousands of fights, they hardly, hardly ever make an error, so I can’t say that they made an error or not, but it was a close fight.”
Sityodtong concluded by saying that there will indeed be a sequel to Joshua Pacio versus Yosuke Saruta.
“Just for me, from my perspective, I thought Joshua won, so yes there will be a rematch.”