ONE: ‘Roots of Honor’ is set for the MOA Arena on Friday night and the fighters faced off for the final time at City of Dreams in Manila this afternoon.
The main event pits current featherweight king Martin Nguyen against former champion Narantungalag Jadambaa, and Jadambaa said he is excited to be competing at the MOA Arena for the fourth time,
“It’s my fourth time competing here in Manila and I’ve always felt at home here. Challenging the legend Jadambaa himself, it’s such an honor. I’ll bring a hundred percent into the cage, and God willing, I’ll walk out of the arena still champion,” stated Nguyen.
Meanwhile Jadambaa is 43 years old and looking to reclaim the title he held from 2014 until 2015,
“This is not about age, this is about passion. Martial arts is my life and I hold the utmost respect for anyone who has the courage to step inside that cage (but) I will bring even more courage into the cage this Friday. I respect Martin Nguyen for what he has done for our sport and it is an honor to face him. I will do my best and the best man will walk out of the cage with the title,” Jadambaa said.
The Philippines is currently without a ONE Championship title holder but Joshua Pacio is hoping to rectify that situation. He will be looking to reclaim the strawweight crown from Yosuke Saruta in a rematch that serves as the co-main event,
“I know the magnitude of this matchup and how important this rematch with Yosuke Saruta is. I wasn’t at my best in that first fight, so I want to go out there and prove that I can do much better. He’s a great fighter, and I have so much respect for him. But I have the hopes and dreams of an entire country on my shoulders, and I can’t let the fans down. I’m coming to regain the belt,” Pacio said.
“Coming to the Philippines and representing Japan and the Japanese culture is such a huge honor for me. I know Joshua Pacio has a lot of fans here, and I respect him as a martial artist. All I can say is that we will both bring our best into the cage this Friday night. It’s going to be an exciting fight, and I plan on getting my hand raised in the end as the victor.”
Best of the rest
ONE: ‘Roots of Honor’ will also feature the final quarter final in the flyweight Grand Prix. Tatsumitsu Wada will have a huge height advantage when he faces Gustavo Balart, a Cuban wrestler who is one of the shortest fighters in the division.
The card also features two Filipino featherweight siblings. Eric Kelly has been matched with Won Il Kwon while Edward Kelly goes up against Sung Jong Lee.