ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio enjoyed the most tremendous success of his career in 2018.
He began the year by capturing the ONE Interim Flyweight World Title with a unanimous decision over Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov in January, and then successfully unified the belts thanks to a split decision after a closely-contested battle against Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes in June.
Two victories in two World Title bouts kickstarted the Team Lakay gold rush as his training partners combined to collect four World Championships for the gym in Baguio City, Philippines.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, 16 December 2018
“Gravity” is delighted with what he has achieved, but he is not prepared to sit back and smell the roses. The challenges he faces in 2019 will be even tougher, though the 29-year-old is ready for the tasks ahead.
It all begins next month in Manila with a rubber match against Moraes at ONE: HERO’S ASCENT.
Ahead of that, and a historic year for his division, Eustaquio breaks down the last 12 months, and what lies in store.
ONE: Would you say 2018 was the best year of your career?
GE: Without a doubt, I consider 2018 the absolute best in my career. I have been a professional for nearly a decade, and this year, I was finally able to put all of my skills together and reach the top.
It has been a culmination of all the hard work that I put into my craft over the past few years, and finally, it has all paid off.
I accomplished a lot, not only in martial arts, but also in life. I am truly grateful for it all. As good as 2018 was, however, I have a lot of plans in 2019, and one of those plans is keeping my belt.
ONE: Aside from winning the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Title, what were your greatest achievements in 2018?
GE: By the grace of God, I was able to build a simple house I could call home and spend a lot of quality time with my family and friends.
I was able to continue for another 12 months of doing what I love, going out there and performing to the best of my abilities, sharing my talent with the world and inspiring my fellow Filipinos, especially those from the mountains here in the Cordilleras.
I helped people realize the beauty of their dreams and that it’s not impossible to achieve them. I think this is the best thing that happened this year, apart from winning the title.
Just being able to inspire and put a smile on millions of faces, it’s a dream come true for me. As we spend this Holiday season with our loved ones, may we always remember that there is a force greater than all of us at work here, and I am grateful for all that has happened so far.
ONE: It will be a huge year for your division with the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix underway. What do you need to do to stay ahead of your competition?
GE: I believe the work that I have done over the past few years, especially in capturing the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Title, I have cemented my place among the best in my division in the world.
But even after all the success, it doesn’t stop there for me. I am a warrior, and I always look forward to excellence. I also love to challenge myself to become a better martial artist.
This is what I set out to do every time I step on the mat. 2019 is going to be a phenomenal year. I plan to keep my training more technical and work smarter, if for the simple reason that from here on out, I will be competing against the world’s best athletes.
The flyweight division in ONE Championship is stacked, and I stand as the champion. It’s both an honor and a huge challenge because I know everyone will be gunning for the title.
ONE: You’re already booked to face Adriano Moraes in a third match. What is your early impression of this bout?
GE: I have a lot of respect for Adriano Moraes, both as a person and as a martial artist. And I can truly say that after two bouts with him, we know each other quite well.
This third match will decide once and for all who reigns supreme. I know I am preparing myself for the biggest fight of my career, and so is he.
I feel proud that I will be able to perform in front of my countrymen as champion for the first time in my career. This is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to make all the fans in Manila proud.
As such, I am working extremely hard to be in the best physical and mental condition, so that by the time I step in the cage with him, I will be in my element.
The Mall of Asia Arena is going to be rocking – that’s always a guarantee, no matter who is fighting. I am thankful for the opportunity. Fans should expect a very technical showdown between me and Adriano, in both the striking and grappling departments.
ONE: The ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix kicks off in Japan. Demetrious Johnson is facing Yuya Wakamatsu. What do you think about that matchup?
GE: Yuya Wakamatsu is a good, solid opponent for DJ and it will help him get used to the ONE Championship ruleset.
I think I’m not alone in saying that I am definitely excited to see how he does in his promotional debut. That Japan card is very exciting and is a great spectacle for fans.
ONE: What would you make of a match-up with “Mighty Mouse” down the road?
GE: DJ is one of the most unique athletes I have ever watched. If and when I do get to face him somewhere down the road, I will consider myself fortunate to be fighting a fighter of his caliber.
As a martial artist, you just want to test yourself against the best, and DJ is considered the pound-for-pound best in the world. It would be an honor and a dream come true to fight him.
ONE: What is in store for “Gravity” in 2019?
GE: I have one main goal for 2019, and that is to keep the belt in the mountains. I will do everything in my power to end the year with the ONE Flyweight World Championship belt.
There are a lot of challenges that lie ahead, especially with the third Moraes bout just around the corner, and the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix kicks off in Japan. I am ready to face all the challenges as the champion.
We are working very hard up here in the mountains. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Holiday season. We have had to make sacrifices, and we will continue to do what is necessary to ensure victory.