Next Friday, 8 November, he will aim to gain redemption for a loss in a rematch against Toni “Dynamite” Tauru in Manila, Philippines.
The two athletes first met in 2016 at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION, where Eustaquio was submitted by a first-round rear-naked choke, but “Gravity” is sure the outcome will be different at the Mall Of Asia Arena.
“I was not myself that time,” he says. “I learned my lessons and I will do my best not to repeat the same mistakes.”
“I think staying focused and making sure that I am ready for everything when we’re in the Circle will make it a different story [this time around].
“I am looking forward to our rematch – I want to live on that brand as the ‘Rematch King.’”
Since he last faced Tauru, “Gravity” has earned a reputation for avenging defeats by taking out Anatpong Bunrad, Kairat Akhmetov, and Adriano Moraes as he rose through the division and claimed the ONE Flyweight World Title.
One of the secrets to his success, he believes, is an active schedule that has seen him compete more than twice as many times as his upcoming opponent since their first meeting. That includes three bouts so far this year, which makes him one of The Home Of Martial Arts’ busiest competitors.
“For me, [staying active] has very positive effects – it makes me grow faster and I am able to focus on my improvements,” Eustaquio says.
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His constant training has also given him a ton of new tricks to use in the Circle, as well as a more analytical and mature mindset, which he says could be his key to victory.
“I had my developments, and I improved in all aspects of my mixed martial arts game,” he adds.
“My best tool against him will be my mind. I need to compete smarter this time around.”
He also believes competing at flyweight will favor him because the 34-year-old from Finland will sacrifice a lot by dieting down.
Despite his confidence, “Gravity” will certainly not underestimate Tauru – especially because he has been beaten him by before by submission. However, his performances against top-level grapplers since then prove that Eustaquio is a different proposition on the ground now.
So much so, in fact, that he will not rule out a submission of his own on 8 November. Failing that, he always has the world-class wushu he has honed for many years at Team Lakay to fall back on.
“I still need to watch out for his grappling, but I’m not afraid to mix it up on the ground,” he says.
“I respect his striking skills, but I believe that we at Team Lakay have a superior striking edge over their team.”
“What matters most whenever I compete is to perform to the best of my ability and give the fans an entertaining fight. They will see my improvement and growth, and I will do my best to show how I can bring my game to the next level.”
“I am looking for a stoppage, and I’m hoping that I can end it by submitting him.”