As the figurehead of possibly the most exciting weight class in the world of martial arts, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio has many tough tests ahead,
The ONE Flyweight World Champion rules over a division that has delivered some of the year’s most exciting bouts, and there are many more in the offing as its ranks swell.
That also means he may have to work harder than any other titleholder to keep a hold of his belt next year.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 30, 2018
The first member of Team Lakay to taste gold in 2018 has not been seen in action since his thrilling conquest of Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes (17-3) at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in June. That means, as long as he is healthy, the Baguio City native should be ready to defend his belt soon. However, it is far from certain who his opponent would be.
The man at the top of the list could be Reece “Lightning” McLaren, whose run of victories would make him a deserving challenger. The Aussie has won three in a row and was named as the top contender earlier this year, but he has not been able to get his date with destiny yet.
Of course, the current top dog also has unfinished business with two of his rivals who will be desperate to become World Champions again – each of whom has one win and one loss against “Gravity.”
After narrowly surrendering the strap via split decision, Moraes will be keen to avenge his loss and begin his third reign. The Brazilian is also one of only two people to finish the 29-year-old in his career.
Another option would be Kairat “The Kazakh” Akmetov (25-2), another former ONE Flyweight World Champion with a win and a loss against Eustaquio. The Tiger Muay Thai representative got back in the win column with an outstanding defeat of “The Southern Eagle” Ma Hao Bin in September.
On the other hand, there is one leading name we can rule out as “Gravity’s” next opponent – his teammate, Danny “The King” Kingad (8-1).
The 23-year-old’s victories in “Bout Of The Year” contenders against Ma and Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu put him close to the top of the contenders’ list – even in such a deep division – but he has vowed not to face his training partner and mentor in the cage.
The World Title picture was already crowded, but the whole complexion of the weight class was shaken up in October when ONE Championship revealed the addition of the most dominant world champion in martial arts history to its roster – Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (27-3-1).
Alongside his arrival, the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix was also announced, which will match eight of the world’s best athletes in a tournament format.
With no further details confirmed about either of those two bombshells yet, it is fair to assume Eustaquio may have to pass one more test before he is tested by Johnson or a stacked elimination bracket.
Whatever is next for him, he will need to be at his best if he wants to keep his title by the time we reach the end of 2019.