Geje Eustaquio got the monkey off his back
Coming into the main event of ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, Geje Eustaquio and Kairat Akhmetov both wanted to put a definitive end to a rivalry that lasted for four months. From Jakarta to Manila, the two topflight flyweights have figured in 10 rounds of brutal warfare.
As the 50th minute of their fight was coming to a close, the crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena was deafening. Unlike in their fight during Total Victory, the result was never in doubt. The 28-year-old Team Lakay standout put on a masterful performance en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Still the record books show that Eustaquio and Akhmetov are 1-1. For the now-interim ONE Flyweight World Champion, however, a trilogy is no longer needed, and his win should be the end of this chapter.
“I got the belt, I doubt it.
“Kairat has a big heart. Hindi niya lang pinapakita but I knew he was hurt,” shared Eustaquio, who is now 10-6 in his pro career.
After the bout, the 5-foot-5 native of Baguio City knew who he wanted to face next. Sitting in the audience was Adriano Moraes, the reigning Flyweight Champion. Eustaquio did not mince his words as he called out the Brazilian.
“Adriano! I’ve got a belt!
“When we faced the first time, I didn’t make it to the third round. Give me one more try!,” he exclaimed.
Moraes, who owns a 17-2 fight record, quickly accepted the challenge.
“I’d like to congratulate this guy. Geje Eustaqio really deserved this belt. I have too much respect for this guy,” he told an approving Manila crowd.
“Now he’s an interim flyweight world champion. But this is my throne, this is my house, so let’s do it again!”
This will not be the first time these two will meet. Back in September of 2014, Eustaquio succumbed to Moraes by submission with 1:06 left in the second round.
More mature and experienced, Eustaquio knows that he will put on a better showing this time around.
“Six years ago, I did not know any jiujitsu. Now, I do submission attempts and it’s because the people at my back are the best in the business,” Eustaquio reflected.
“If he’s ready, I’m ready. Rock and roll, let’s go!”