The 30-year-old from Baguio City had looked set to enter the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix thanks to his win in the tournament’s alternate bout in May, but the only slot available was opposite his teammate, Danny “The King” Kingad, and that was not an option for him.
Instead, on Friday, 2 August, the proud Filipino warrior will compete in front of his home fans at Manila’s Mall Of Asia Arena in a bout that looks set to be one of the most exciting of the night in another reserve bout for the tournament.
The ONE moment when Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio achieved his lifelong dream!????: Manila | 2 August | 7PM | ONE: DAWN OF HEROES????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/oneheroes19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Even though there are two World Title match-ups, and three World Grand Prix contests, the Team Lakay athlete’s encounter with Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu is tailor-made to steal the show.
Ahead of his match, “Gravity” breaks down how he has accelerated his training to prepare, how he can get his hand raised, and the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
ONE Championship: Five members of Team Lakay have bouts in Manila. How excited are you to compete together?
Geje Eustaquio: We are all very excited! The energy is just different when it’s in the Mall of Asia Arena, and it’s a privilege to perform in front of our countrymen.
We are able to perform in other countries, so it’s always a proud moment to perform in front of our people, which makes it exciting for us.
ONE: How difficult will it be to face such a dangerous opponent with just a few weeks to prepare?
GE: Usually for professional athletes, as much as possible, we would prefer to have at least two months notification so that we could have a full camp, and of course, the preparation could be more rigid.
For me, the adjustment will be a huge thing because it is a bit of late notice. It will be difficult, but it’s not impossible.
ONE: Did you change or add anything to your regular training regimen since you learned you will compete in Manila?
GE: Most of my routines are standard, but we added some skills which will be a surprise for everybody.
I hope I can execute it properly on fight night. I am training two necessary skills that I hope I can apply on 2 August.
ONE: Wakamatsu lost his last match, but surprised many people by how much trouble he gaveDemetrious Johnson. Did you feel the same?
GE: I wasn’t surprised that Demetrious had a hard time against him. The kid is hungry to win.
Knowing Yuya Wakamatsu, he’s also a great athlete for his size – I think his size is very ideal. His skills are very good, and he also has knockout power.
ONE: What do you need to be wary of when you face him?
GE: I think his hands. I know that those contain a lot of power, so as much as possible, I won’t let him touch me with those hands. That will be my ultimate goal for our match.
ONE: Your teammate, Danny Kingad, has already beaten him. Has he been able to help you prepare for this bout?
GE: Of course. He’s my partner in the gym – we wrestle, we roll, and we strike. I also ask him for some tips on how to beat [Wakamatsu] because it will be invaluable for us all to come out victorious in Manila.
I would prefer to keep [the advice he gave] to myself at the moment, but I definitely have something in store for him and everyone who will watch our match.
ONE: What do you think you can take advantage of against Yuya?
GE: I think the striking game. I think he’s a striker as well, but our striking in Team Lakay is globally competitive, and it’s world-class.
I think I will capitalize on that when I go up against him.
ONE: After your last win, were you offered the chance to replace Kairat Akhmetov in the World Grand Prix?
GE: No, and I think it would not be a smart move for everyone involved to put me on that spot.
For my part, if ever they did offer that match [against Kingad] to me, it will be hard for me to even consider accepting it.
In Team Lakay, we are a family, and we always say family always comes first – glory can follow.
ONE: If you do not go through the World Grand Prix and get another World Title challenge, what do you think will be next for you?
GE: I think if I get the win this time, I’m much closer to the World Title. As for the Grand Prix, we have Danny.
We have full trust and confidence in this kid, and he’s well-prepared and very much hungry to claim the right to be called the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion.
My mindset is not on the Grand Prix right now, but rather how I can get closer to winning back the World Title.