MMA, martial arts

Japan’s Yosuke Saruta is new ONE Strawweight World Champion

Yosuke Saruta (© ONE Championship)

Yosuke Saruta (© ONE Championship)

Fighting out of of Saitama, Japan, Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta, 31, has been crowned as the new strawweight king of ONE Championship. The Japanese fighter was one of the winners at “ONE: Eternal Glory.”

Featuring 10 mixed martial arts bouts and two Muay Thai contests, “ONE: Eternal Glory” is the first ONE Championship event in 2019. In the main event of the evening, Saruta challenged then reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, of Baguio City, Philippines.

After five five-minute rounds, the championship bout between Pacio and Saruta was left in the hands of the judges. In the end, referee Olivier Coste raised the hand of the Japanese challenger, who was declared the winner via split decision.

Training out of Wajutsu Keishukai HEARTS in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, Saruta is a former Shooto Strawweight World Champion. “ONE: Eternal Glory” marked his second bout in ONE Championship.

Saruta has been competing professionally since 2008. Winning at “ONE: Eternal Glory” improved his professional MMA record to 19 wins, 8 losses and 3 draws.

On the other hand, losing at “ONE: Eternal Glory” downgraded Pacio’s professional MMA record to 13 wins and 3 losses. He is training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines.

Pacio captured ONE Strawweight World Champion belt on September 22, 2018 at “ONE: Conquest of Heroes.” He dethroned then reigning champion, Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, 34, of Matsudo, Chiba, Japan via unanimous decision in a rematch.

It was on October 7, 2016 at “ONE: State of Warriors” when Pacio first tried to capture the ONE Strawweight World Champion title from Naito. The Japanese champion submitted his Filipino challenger via rear-naked choke in the third round.

After  Naito,  was the first Hayato Suzuki, 32, of Ibaraki, Japan became the second MMA fighter to defeat Pacio. On August 5, 2017, Suzuki submitted the Team Lakay fighter via rear-naked choke at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors.”

Suzuki was originally set to challenge Pacio at “ONE: Eternal Glory.” However, the former was pulled out of the card due to medical concerns and was replaced by Saruta.

Watch all the “ONE: Eternal Glory” bouts here:

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