ONE Championship returns to The Philippines on 12 April. ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR will feature a total of 15 bouts. After the promotion’s historic Japan show, ONE: A NEW ERA, it has mounds of global momentum and the expanding fanbase is likely hungry for the next event.
As we head into ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR, here are 10 things you should know about the event.
How To Watch
The action gets underway at 6 am ET with the preliminary bouts. Those seven matches will be streamed live on Facebook and Twitter. The main card starts at 9:30 am ET. That part of the show consists of the remaining seven matches. Let’s look at more information on the card.
Two Title Fights
A pair of ONE World Championships will be on the line in The Philippines. In the co-main event, Filipino superstar and Team Lakay standout Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will do everything in his power to regain his ONE Strawweight World Title from Japan’s Yosuke Saruta. The latter surprisingly dethroned Pacio at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY in January, but now Pacio is back looking for redemption in his home country.
In the main event, ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen will return to the ring after nearly a year layoff due to a knee injury. The issue forced him to vacate the ONE Lightweight World Title. Now fit, and with ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Aung La N Sang in his corner, Nguyen is ready to re-establish himself as one of the promotion’s most-elite champions. His opponent for the evening will be Narantungalag Jadambaa. The 43-year-old veteran Mongolian is seemingly always fit and prepared for battle.
Expect no different on Friday.
3 Different Disciplines
A staple of ONE Championship events is the feature of multiple disciplines. At ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR, there will be two Muay Thai bouts and one kickboxing match to go with the 11 mixed martial arts contests.
Nguyen is a Finisher
If you’re hoping for a finish in the main event, Nguyen has gotten into the habit of finishing his work early. All but one of his wins have come by stoppage. Seven have been as the result of a KO and the other three by submission. If at all possible, he will look to finish Jadambaa.
Jadambaa is a Former World Champion
That will not be an easy task. Jadambaa is not just another contender or challenger for a crown. He is a former featherweight titleholder and an ageless wonder. In his mid-40s, Jadambaa performs at a level higher than most 20-somethings will ever compete within the sport. He must not be taken lightly, lest he will again be wearing ONE Championship gold.
Pacio Undefeated At The Mall of Asia
“The Passion” has never lost in his home country at the Mall of Asia. In his career in the venue, he’s a perfect 4-0. That has to give him some confidence as he prepares to face Saruta for the second time. The champion’s awkward striking and physical strength proved to be an issue the first time. Perhaps Pacio can draw energy from the home crowd in the rematch.
Yosuke Saruta Is Confident
Despite the location, Saruta is confident he will be the victor. In fact, he badly wants to secure the finish. “I won by decision last time, so this time I want to finish, and I want people to understand how strong I am,” the 31-year-old World Champion says.
“Last time, I couldn’t fight like I imagined – there wasn’t much ground game. I couldn’t do damage and finish.
“This is a sport, so winning by decision is still a win, but I want to knock him out this time.”
Pacio is 1-3 Vs. Japanese Martial Artists
Pacio has struggled against Japanese martial artists in his career. In fact, he’s just 1-3 against them. Perhaps, it’s the distinct Japanese wrestling-heavy style. In the rematch, he’ll also be looking to get over that hurdle. In total, it should be an exciting night of bouts, and we’ll see which two athletes leave the Philippines with the ONE World Titles.