JOSHUA Pacio’s road to another ONE Championship strawweight title shot has reached yet another testy roadblock as he takes on unbeaten Japanese MMA veteran Hayato Suzuki in the undercard of ONE: Kings and Conquerers on August 5 at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
The 21-year old Wonderboy from Baguio is coming off a decision victory over former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke last March and wants nothing more than to get another shot at champ Yoshitaka Naito.
With a 12-1 record, alongside 11 finishes, there’s no doubt that Pacio’s already earned himself a new chance to take home the title.
But to get to Naito, he has to go through Suzuki who’s made a name for himself outside of ONE, fighting in local Japanese MMA promotions such as DEEP and Grachan.
Suzuki has yet to lose a match after 18 fights, winning 16 of them and drawing with the two others making him a worthy test to the young stalwart from the fabled Team Lakay.
Eric Kelly, another gem from up north, will also be making his return to the organization when he takes on Kotetsu Boku also in the undercard of the ONE card in Macau.
The 36-year old Kelly will look to get back into the right track, after a pair of losses and some issues outside of the cage derailed what looked like a steady run to the ONE featherweight title.
At 12-3, Kelly remains one of the most dangerous and respected MMA fighters in the country. But ring rust will definitely be an issue as it’s been over a year since Kelly fought in the cage, when he lost to Narantungalag Jadambaa in the main event of Dynasty of Champions last July.
One of the most well rounded fighters to come out of the Philippines, Kelly has strung up some impressive wins over the past years, including a stoppage victory over former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver and Australian banger Rob Lisita.
Boku, the inaugural lightweight champion of the organization, will look to prove that he still got what it takes to fight on a high level.
The Korean representing Krazy Bee MMA Gym in Tokyo has already 36 bouts under his belt, winning 25 of it.
The ONE bantamweight title bout between Bibiano Fernandes and Andrew Leone will be headlining 10-bout fight card in the Asian MMA giant’s return to Macau.