Saruta open to Pacio rematch, wants Naito next

Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta.

Newly-crowned ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta already knows who he wants to compete with next.

The 31-year old native of Saitama, Japan defeated Joshua “The Passion” Pacio of the Philippines in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY in Jakarta, Indonesia over the weekend to capture ONE’s 56.7-kilogram world title and become the promotion’s fourth-ever strawweight world title holder.

Pacio is the consecutive second champion, former or current, that Saruta has defeated in as many appearances with the organization, and now, the new strawweight king knows exactly who he wants to face next.

“I want to fight “Nobita” Naito,” Saruta said through his translator during the post-match interview with the media. “He was a previous champion, and I want to test who’s the best in Japan.”

Japan’s Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito was ONE’s inaugural strawweight world champion and the division’s only two-time titleholder. It was Naito that Pacio defeated back in September of 2018 to claim the title.

“Basically, it’s Joshua, Naito, and me, we’re the three best strawweights in ONE. I’ve beaten Joshua, so I want Naito next,” Saruta added.

While a Saruta-Naito clash would definitely be a must-see matchup, it is also very likely that Pacio gets a rematch.

Saruta and Pacio went the distance in Jakarta, with the Japanese veteran edging out the Filipino standout via a close split decision.

Should that be the case, Saruta says that he is ready for a do-over.

“If ONE decides for us to have a rematch, then bring it on. Anytime,” he expressed.

“I never say no to a match, even my previous fight against Alex Silva, it was just two weeks’ notice, but I never said no. I’ll fight anyone, anytime,” he added.