Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio came incredibly close to defeating Kairat Akhmetov at ONE: Total Victory last year, but this time he plans on truly finishing the task in front of his fans in Manila, Philippines.
Eustaquio battled Akhmetov in a three round war in September last year but would ultimately lose a split decision to the now 24-1 martial artist. However, many fans who were watching the event believe that Eustaquio was ‘robbed’ after referee Yuji Shimada stepped in to pause the contest when Eustaquio landed an entirely legal up-kick. Gifted with an ‘injury timeout’, Akhmetov used the time to recover before restarting the contest and eventually overpowering Eustaquio with his wrestling.
Now, Eustaquio has the chance to avenge his ‘loss’ – but this time, he’ll be competing in front of the thousands of screaming fans in the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
Pushing the pace
Having competed with Akhmetov before, Eustaquio understands what it takes to defeat his opponent and explains that he plans to ‘push the pace more’ in the rematch.
“I will push the pace more. This time, I am going to finish this bout like I should have the first go-around.”
Despite the strange scenario that occurred in the earlier contest, Eustaquio continues to show tremendous respect for his opponent:
“I am expecting another difficult bout. Kairat Akhmetov is tough and has a huge heart inside the cage. That is why I am preparing very well for this rematch.”
The rematch between Eustaquio and Akhmetov has major implications this time around. The two will battle for the newly created ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship, which is a temporary development in the absence of the champion Adriano Moraes.
Despite this, Eustaquio’s eyes are clearly on Moraes and the opportunity to take the strap from around his waist.
“A victory over Kairat would land me a rematch against Adriano Moraes. I believe I have what it takes to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion in the future.”
If Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio can trouble the Kazakh with his striking in Manila, he will move to 10-6 and score a certain meeting with Adriano Moraes sometime this year.
Geje Eustaquio and Kairat Akhmetov will headline ONE Championship’s return to Manila, Philippines, this weekend on Friday, 26 January, at the Mall of Asia Arena.