The old idiom “Second time’s the charm” would be the perfect embodiment to depict Filipino superstar Geje Eustaquio’s professional mixed martial arts career, as Lady Luck seems to be on his side in every one of his rematches.
Out of 16 bouts in his seven-year prizefighting stint, Eustaquio has shared the stage with the same foe on two occasions, and walked out of both instances with his arm raised in triumph.
After dropping a split decision to Anatpong Bunrad in April 2015, Eustaquio settled the score with his arch-nemesis two years later by edging out the Thai hard-hitter with his own split decision victory.
Meanwhile, Eustaquio clinched the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship, toppling Kazakh rival Kairat Akhmetov by way of five-round unanimous decision in a second encounter this past January.
“Winning the world title is a dream come true for me. Ever since I started my professional career, the goal was to be a world champion,” Eustaquio stated.
“Now, that goal is a reality.”
Believing that it would be sweeter the second time around, the 29-year-old Baguio City native seeks to replicate the same magic as he is slated to lock horns once again with Brazilian flyweight kingpin Adriano Moraes.
“There were lots of trials and challenges. My path was not the easiest, but I always knew what I had to do to achieve it. Like I always say, it’s either you win or you learn. I learned from my past failures. And here I am today,” Eustaquio shared.
“That’s the secret to my success.
“On June 23, I have a tough task in front of me. However, it is still an opportunity for me, an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. On that date, it’s my opportunity to become the undisputed champion of this division. And I am coming for it,” he added.
Eustaquio and Moraes stood opposite each other for the first time in September 2014 when the two collided for the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Championship.
Moraes derailed Eustaquio’s championship aspirations, as he found a way to counteract his opponent’s striking prowess in the second round, and then forced the 5-foot-5 Team Lakay representative to wave the white flag with a guillotine choke.
Eustaquio admitted that it had been a tough defeat to digest, but he pointed out that he took a lot away from it by viewing it as a learning curve.
“That loss has taught me a lot. Ever since then, I have worked extensively in improving in all areas,” he said.
“I have worked extremely hard to get to this point because deep inside, I knew we would meet again. Now I can finally give him a better fight.”
Since his initial meeting with Moraes almost four years ago, Eustaquio stressed that he has grown tremendously, as he has matured and expanded his skillset.
“I have evolved as a martial artist since we first met inside the cage in 2014.
“I know that it will be different in the rematch against Adriano Moraes. The second bout against Kairat Akhmetov is a testament that I am no longer a one-dimensional fighter. I trusted my team, and in the bout against Akhmetov, one of the things we worked on was how to bring the bout back to the feet,” he explained.
In his upcoming rematch, Eustaquio expects that the Brazilian submission specialist may look to focus on using his other skills.
“This time around, I have a feeling we will be standing more. I think he will want to stand and trade with me to test his striking,” he reasoned. “If the going gets rough, then he can focus on taking it to the mat. The same principle applies to me. I want to test my Jiu-Jitsu skills too, and what better opponent than Adriano Moraes to do so against?”
According to Eustaquio, defeating Moraes to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion would be the proudest moment of his career.
“This rematch is very big. It is the biggest of my career, no doubt. I am treating this bout as the most significant of my time as a professional mixed martial artist, but because of my hard work and preparations, all that is left is to give the performance of a lifetime.”
Ex-ONIC PH player Greed_ lifts Sunsparks to MPL back-to-back
ONIC PH stuns BREN Esports, advances to MPL Grand Finals
Albo, Matias, Gonzales start new business during wait for MPBL resumption
Bea Luna, a friend and a fighter says U15 teammates
REPORT: Jalen Green recruited Kai Sotto to join him in G League
Letran to downsize athletics operations, withdraw in nine NCAA events — including volleyball
ABS-CBN S+A goes off air
Stats Don’t Lie: Aldin Ayo and the power of the three-ball
Barangay Ginebra reunite in SMC HQ, pack PPEs for frontliners
Makati survives Ablaza injury, San Juan to force MPBL North Game Three
Robles, Custodio take over Basilan, lift Davao Occi to MPBL South do-or-die
Collado’s clutch swat completes Basilan’s conquest of Davao Occi in MPBL South Finals
- News3 days ago
Denden Lazaro returns to PVL, joins Choco Mucho
- NCAA4 days ago
Perpetual Help temporarily shuts down athletics department
- Mixed Martial Arts4 days ago
Geje Eustaquio out to prove he belongs in ONE’s Top Five
- DLSU4 days ago
Lady Spikers, Enchong Dee take part in Kada-Uno Lasalyano drive