Pacio, Kelly Driven To Start Team Lakay’s 2019 On Triumphant Note

Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly will look to start 2019 with a bang as both mixed martial artists from Team Lakay are set to compete inside the cage at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY in Jakarta, Indonesia on 19 January.

Pacio is slated to defend the ONE Strawweight World Title for the first time against Yosuke Saruta of Japan in the main event, while Kelly squares off with Singaporean sensation Christian “The Warrior” Lee in a rematch.

“The Passion” became the youngest member of Team Lakay to win a highly-coveted world title in ONE Championship when he defeated Japanese rival Yoshitaka Naito by unanimous decision in their second encounter at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES last September.

The man standing in his way to make a successful title defense is Saruta, who made a splash in the world’s largest martial arts organization when he defeated former division kingpin Alex “Little Rock” Silva by unanimous decision in his promotional debut at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS last 7 December.

Meanwhile, Kelly has the opportunity to resolve his unfinished business with Lee after the controversial outcome of their first meeting at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON las September.

The heated featherweight matchup ended abruptly when Lee was disqualified for executing an illegal suplex onto the head of Kelly in the first round.

Kelly was unable to continue the bout, forcing referee Olivier Coste to flash the red card at Lee, signifying the latter’s disqualification.

The premier mixed martial arts team from the mountains of Baguio City concluded their 2018 campaign with four ONE World Titles, but they know all too well that tougher tasks await in the next twelve months.

Team Lakay aims to carry over their success from this year to 2019, and it all starts on 19 January in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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