Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio has been a prominent member of ONE Championship’s flyweight division since he made his promotional debut six years ago.
The Filipino star has experienced many highs during his career, but he finally reached the pinnacle of martial arts when he defeated Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov for the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship in January.
Although he is proud to wear the gold, the 29-year-old feels the best is yet to come, and he could have an even bigger career moment next week.
Eustaquio promises to deliver “the performance of a lifetime” in Macau, and become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion. But before he does that, take a look at four of his best performances inside the ONE cage.
Geje Eustaquio VS Eugene Toquero
In December 2013, Eustaquio gave the planet a glimpse of his World Title potential.
Although Toquero had a strong start, “Gravity” countered superbly, and soon controlled the bout with his sharp stand-up and slick takedowns.
Eustaquio did not possess the veteran expertise he has now, but his unanimous decision win showed he was able to utilize his striking to great effect, and it marked him as a legitimate contender in the flyweight division.
Geje Eustaquio VS Kentaro Watanabe
With a shot at the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Championship awaiting the winner, Eustaquio was driven to defeat Japanese contender Kentaro Watanabe at ONE: ERA OF CHAMPIONS in June 2014.
It was a thrilling three-round battle that went all the way to the judges’ scorecards, but “Gravity” demonstrated his ability to overcome adversity.
The Filipino recovered well after being clipped by heavy punches in the opening exchanges.
Despite his early scare, the Baguio City native remained composed, and established his rhythm as he outmaneuvered and outstruck Watanabe over three rounds to secure the unanimous decision in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Eustaquio was placed in the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Title match with Moraes three months later. Although “Gravity” lost that contest, he says that experience made him a better athlete, which he demonstrated in his subsequent contests.
Geje Eustaquio VS Gianni Subba
Eustaquio started to built some momentum in 2016.
In January, he knocked out Saiful “The Vampire” Merican in his opponent’s hometown of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then returned to Manila in April for a battle against Gianni Subba.
Interestingly enough, though both were top-ranked flyweights, this bout was contested at bantamweight.
“Gravity’s” veteran experience proved to be too much for Subba — especially in the final round, where the Filipino landed his biggest strikes to the delight of the fans inside of the Mall Of Asia Arena.
Eustaquio earned the unanimous decision nod, but his stay at bantamweight was short-lived – he dropped back to flyweight a year later to renew his quest for the gold.
Geje Eustaquio VS Kairat Akhmetov II
Eustaquio lost to Akhmetov by the narrowest of margins in their September 2017 clash, but he was granted a main-event rematch at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES in January. There was added incentive, as the ONE Interim Flyweight World Title was on the line.
Following his agonizing split-decision loss in their initial encounter, “Gravity” was determined not to suffer the same fate twice. He was motivated to redeem himself, and win the belt in front of a roaring home crowd in Manila.
“The key was to strike first, and strike often,” Eustaquio revealed.
“I knew I had the advantage in the stand-up game, and I had to let him know that, too.
He accomplished that by expertly countering Akhmetov’s wrestling with his vastly improved takedown defense, and utilized his striking and footwork to dominate the stand-up exchanges.
That led him to a unanimous decision victory and the ONE Interim Flyweight World Title.
Macau | 23 June | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast