By Jun Ray Navarres
Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio handed Mansur Malachiev his first taste at defeat behind a unanimous decision win at ONE Fight Night 15, Saturday morning (Manila Time) at the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
The number 1-ranked strawweight fighter returned to the winning column after getting the nod from the three judges with his dominating performance against the Russian slugger.
Malachiev however, was a force to be reckoned with, immediately transitioning into wrestling after getting a taste of striking from Pacio at the opening bell.
Pacio moved forward with leg kicks at the second stanza but was briefly surprised with Malachiev’s striking arsenal, rocking the Filipino with a spinning back fist.
The life-long wrestler tried to dominate Pacio on the mat, but Pacio’s ground game defense prevented Malachiev from executing his plans.
Pacio almost finished the fight much earlier with a choke at the final round before the referee asked the fighters for some action. He then attempted another guillotine choke, but the final bell rang after 15 minutes of action.
The win improved Pacio’s record to 21-4 and also served as a stepping stone for his possible revenge fight against division kingpin Jarred Brooks. Meanwhile, Malachiev dropped to 11-1.
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