Japan and Cuba were among the 18 countries represented at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” It was the second ONE Championship event in 2019 held in the Philippines.
The fighters on the main card of “ONE: Roots of Honor” had their face-off during the press conference at the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 9, 2019. Led by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, the panel included representatives from sponsors namely Holcim Philippines Inc. senior vice president and head of sales William C. Sumalinog, City of Dreams Manila senior vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Benning and Grab Philippines transport team head Chris Taylor.
Featuring two kickboxing contests, two Muay Thai bouts and 11 mixed martial arts matches, “ONE: Roots of Honor” took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 12, 2019. In the 13th bout of the evening, Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada, 30, of Japan faced Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart, 32, of Cuba.
Born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba on February 10, 1987, Balart stands 4’11” and is training out of American Top Team. As an amateur Greco-Roman wrestler, he won gold in his division at the Pan American Games in Mexico in 2011 and represented Cuba at the Summer Olympics in London, England in 2012.
“ONE: Roots of Honor” marked Balart’s ONE Championship debut. As an MMA fighter, he has been competing professionally since 2015.
Originally from Yamanashi, Japan, Wada moved to Tokyo, Japan to pursue a career in martial arts. He was a former DEEP Flyweight Champion.
Wada has been competing professionally since 2008. “ONE: Roots of Honor” marked his fourth ONE Championship bout.
Wada and Balart competed in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix quarter finals. Olivier Coste served as the referee.
After three five-minute rounds, the bout was left in the hands of the judges. In the end, Coste raised the hand of Wada, who was declared the winner via unanimous decision.
Winning at “ONE: Roots of Honor” improved Wada’s professional MMA record to 21 wins, 10 losses and 2 draws. On the other hand, Balart now has 8 wins and 2 losses.
“ONE: Roots of Honor” Main Events
In the co-main event, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 23, of the Philippines challenged reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta, 31, of Japan in a rematch. The Filipino challenger knocked out the Japanese defending champion in the fourth round.
In the main event, reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam defended his belt against former champion Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa, 43, of Mongolia. The Vietnamese-Australian defending champion knocked out the Mongolian challenger in the second round.
Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States were also represented at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” Check the complete results on Conan Daily.