|Joshua Pacio stays as the One strawweight champ. One Championship|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY—In a rare world MMA title fight pitting two Filipinos, Joshua Pacio proved that he can reign supreme against someone who already knows a lot about him.
Pacio successfully defended his One strawweight title after beating compatriot Rene Catalan in the main event of One: Masters of Fate at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.
Pacio, however, had to survive an early submission threat from Catalan before answering with one of his own that forced the finish.
Pacio stepped on the gas early on, dealing a kick that knocked Catalan back a bit and a takedown later in Round 1.
Catalan, however, recovered after the takedown, and both fighters found themselves in leg lock positions.
Pacio lost grip of his submission attempt, giving Catalan an opportunity to submit him with his heel lock.
Pacio's own brilliance in the ground game, however, kept him in the game, and he eventually got loose from the submission attempt.
In the middle of Round 2, Pacio performed an arm triangle choke on Catalan.
Catalan tried to endure the submission attempt, but after a few seconds, specifically at the 2:29 mark of Round 2, he tapped out.
This is the first time Pacio was successful in the defense of his One strawweight belt.
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