Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio may have lost his last match in shocking fashion, but he is motivated to be a better athlete.
Eustaquio failed to get his second-straight win after suffering a first-round KO loss to Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu of Japan in their ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix alternate bout at ONE: Dawn of Heroes at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila last Friday, August 2.
This was Eustaquio’s third appearance on the ONE Championship stage this year. He previously dropped his ONE Flyweight crown to Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes at ONE: Hero’s Ascent back in January and then won by unanimous decision over Kim Kyu Sung of South Korea at ONE: Enter the Dragon in Singapore last May.
It was a disappointing night to say the least, but for Eustaquio, he would not have it any other way.
“I put everything on the line last Friday by taking a chance. I was looking to knock him out, but I was beaten to the punch and I ended up being knocked out,” Eustaquio said.
The match started slowly as both athletes tried to feel each other out, adjusting their movements according to the tune of their partner. The pace started to pick up in the second minute and the stand-up game became a back-and-forth battle between the two.
In the final two minutes of the round, a powerful right straight from Wakamatsu dropped Eustaquio to the canvas, prompting the referee to quickly stop the match at 1:59 of the round.
The loss might be a bitter pill to take, but for Eustaquio, he definitely saw things he can capitalize on moving forward.
“I was just expecting him to throw a hook or a cross, but he followed it up with a straight. It was the positioning that cost me that match. He caught me in a position where I wasn’t prepared,” Eustaquio said.
Knowing the caliber of Wakamatsu when it comes to striking, Eustaquio was actually excited to test himself against the Japanese athlete, though it did not go exactly the way he wanted it to.
“My game plan was to gamble against Wakamatsu. Most of my career, I was facing grapplers and wrestlers and that’s why it was a blessing in disguise to face such a high-level striker as I tried to add a knockout win on my resume,” Eustaquio said.
“But I must admit, the level of competition here is really high. You want a knockout win, there’s also a likelihood that you’ll get knocked out. I was the casualty in that scenario.”
Despite the opportunities missed due to the loss, Eustaquio remains in high spirits, completely aware of the things he needs to work on.
While the loss was a tough one, the 30-year-old Baguio City native promises a better athlete the next time he steps foot on the ONE Championship stage.
“It would have been my passport to a fourth match with Moraes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my night,” Eustaquio said.
“I’m here in the highest level of competition so a slight mistake will definitely flip the result of the match,” he added.
“Now it’s all about doubling my effort for my future harvests.”
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