The warrior spirits of Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes was greatly shown during their epic trilogy encounter, Friday evening during ONE: Hero’s Ascent.
Figuring in what could be their last fight against each other, the two athletes went all out from the get-go. From the stand up to the ground, there was no dead time as the ONE Strawweight World Championship was at stake.
But there was a point in the match that saw Eustaquio in great danger.
During the tail-end of the fourth round, Moraes, a Brazilian jiujitsu blackbelt, was able to secure Eustaquio’s back. But instead of trying to pull off a rear naked choke, the Brazilian decided literally pull off the Filipino’s left knee upwards.
Yes, Moraes to go for a spectacular finish via the rare Suloev Stretch.
“That kneebar, that’s a deep kneebar. I was waiting for Adriano to take off my knee and bring it out,” recalled Eustaquio.
“I was decided to finish the race if it takes all five rounds.”
For over a minute, Moraes pulled harder and harder, even trying an ankle lock.
“Did you see that? I love that position. That’s Mikinho kneebar.
“When I do that position in training everybody taps,” shared Moraes.
But Eustaquio’s heart overcame it, eventually escaping the hold and reaching the full 25 minutes of the bout.
However, Eustaquio was not able to get the nod of the three judges, falling to a unanimous decision to yield the ONE Flyweight World Championship.
Still, he was able to gain the respect of his archrival and, definitely, the world.
“Geje didn’t tap! He didn’t tap!” said Moraes, the first-ever three-time ONE World Champion.
“He’s a true warrior.”
For Eustaquio, he is just grateful to have had a foil like Moraes, who has brought out the best in him.
“I’m thanking him for bringing the best version of Geje because without Adriano I’m not as skilled,” expressed the 29-year-old Team Lakay stalwart.
“It’s all because of him.”