Pacio to defend ONE title vs compatriot Catalan
MANILA, Philippines – An all-Filipino clash for the ONE Championship strawweight title has been set as Joshua Pacio dangles his belt against Rene Catalan in the ONE: Masters of Fate at the Mall of Asia Arena on November 8.
The match marks the first time Pacio will defend his title since reclaiming it from Japan's Yosuke Saruta in April via a fourth-round knockout.
Pacio of the famed Team Lakay first held the crown following a unanimous decision victory over Yoshitaka Naito of Japan in 2018 before losing it to Saruta in a split decision in January.
Now, Pacio looks to prevent compatriot Catalan from stealing his title.
Although already 40 years old, Catalan boasts of a six-fight winning streak and has the experience in order to wrest the championship from Pacio as a former Philippine wushu champion and a veteran martial artist.
He is also coming off a rousing technical knockout win over Naito in March that propelled him to title contention.
Meanwhile, former two-time ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang seeks to make a comeback from back-to-back losses to Japan's Shinya Aoki and USA's Eddie Alvarez as he faces Mongolia's Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu.
The Team Lakay icon Folayang will feature in the co-main event against Tsogookhuu.
Another Team Lakay member who will see action in the card is Geje Eustaquio, who will try to exact revenge on Finland's Toni Tauru in their flyweight rematch.
Eustaquiao fell prey to Tauru in 2016 via a first-round rear-naked choke but has since risen through the ranks by claiming the ONE flyweight title twice. – Rappler.com