Training out of Sakaguchi Dojo and Fight Base Toritsudai in Japan, Shoko Sato, 31, was one of the winners at “ONE: Warriors of Light.” It was his first bout and first victory in ONE Championship.
Featuring three kickboxing contests, four Muay Thai matches and five mixed martial arts bouts, “ONE: Warriors of Light” took place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on May 10, 2019. In the 10th bout of the evening, Sato fought Mark Fairtex Abelardo, 27, of New Zealand in an MMA match in the strawweight division with Yoshinori Umeki as the referee.
A fierce first round saw Abelardo come out of the gates aggressively. In the second round, Sato turned up the heat taking his Kiwi-Filipino opponent to the mat and finishing him off with strikes from the top.
With Abelardo offering no defense, Umeki was forced to call a halt to the contest after 1 minute and 58 seconds in the second round. He awarded Sato with the technical knockout victory.
Winning at “ONE: Warriors of Light” improved Sato’s professional MMA record to 32 wins, 16 losses and 3 draws. On the other hand, Abelardo now has 18 wins and 6 losses.
While Sato was one of the four fighters who represented Japan at “ONE: Warriors of Light,” Abelardo solely represented New Zealand. Algeria, Australia, Cambodia, China, Chinese Taipei, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Portugal, Thailand and the United States were also represented.
Sato is a former Shooto Bantamweight Champion. He is an MMA veteran who is known for his knockout power.
Nearly half of Sato’s overall victories have come by knockout finish. He previously competed in Shooto, Road Fighting Championship and Pancrase, among others.
On the other hand, Abelardo is a ONE Warrior Series alum training out of Fairtex in Bangkok. Not including his two successful ONE Warrior Series bouts, “ONE: Warriors of Light” marked his second ONE Championship outing.
On February 16, 2019, Abelardo knocked out Daichi Takenaka, 29, of Japan at “ONE: Clash of Legends” at the Impact Arena. It was the first loss of the Japanese fighter.
More photos from Sato and Abelardo are on Top Sports Asia. Watch the “ONE: Warriors of Light” recap by Stephen Dawson and Mitch Chilson here: