Joshua Pacio Successfully Defends Strawweight Belt at One Championship Fire & Fury

One Championship stopped for its second event in 2020 as Fire & Fury went down at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, on Jan. 31.

The main event featured a title clash between One strawweight champion Joshua Pacio and challenger Alex Silva. After winning the belt back in April 2019 at Yosuke Saruta’s expense and defending it against Rene Catalan, “The Passion” managed to repeat himself and add another successful defense to his championship stint. Pacio and a very fierce Silva went back and forth for all five rounds of the bout. Pacio tried to impose his striking superiority while “Little Rock” looked to apply his stellar Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills. The Brazilian contender nearly secured an arm-triangle choke submission victory, but Pacio funneled all of his energy and showed the heart of a real champion by defending it. Eventually, two of the three judges awarded the Filipino champion a split decision victory.

In the co-main event of the card, Pieter Buist (15-4) upset hometown hero Eduard Folayang (22-9) thanks to a split decision victory. Folayang was originally scheduled to face Ahmed Mujtaba, but “The Archangel” stepped up on a two-week notice after Mujtaba pulled out of the bout.

“Landslide” seemed to have his opponent’s numbers in the first stanza, dominating and hitting his opponent on the ground. After the beginning of the second round, though, Buist pulled out all his technical skills, both on the feet and on the ground. A slick triangle choke attempt put Folayang in deep trouble, but the former lightweight titleholder managed to escape eventually.

In the third round, Buist hit his opponent with a vicious head kick, but he wasn’t able to seize the moment and finish his wobbling opponent. Folayang survived through the storm by grappling "The Archangel" against the fence. Buist’s performance convinced two of the three judges, who eventually awarded him the victory. Buist is now on an eight-fight win streak.

Elsewhere, Danny Kingad (14-2) overcame Wei Xie (5-3) thanks to a unanimous decision victory. He bounces back on track after losing to Demetrious Johnson back in October. In the opening mixed martial arts bout of the main card, Shoko Sato (35-16-3) secured his sixth consecutive victory after submitting Kwon Won Il (6-3) with a slick rear-naked choke in the opening stanza at the 4:05 mark.

Preliminary action saw Tatsumitsu Wada defeat Ivanildo Silva Delfino by unanimous decision; Lito Adiwang submit Pongsiri Mitsatit with a kimura; Gina Iniong win a decision over Asha Roka; and Jomary Torres battle Jenny Huang to a no contest after an involuntary low blow.
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