WATCH: Eustaquio scores comeback victory vs South Korean foe
MANILA, Philippines – Former ONE flyweight champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio (12-7) got back to the winning column as he scored a unanimous decision victory against Kim Kyu Sung (9-3) in the ONE Championship: Enter the Dragon at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, May 17.
The victory gave “Gravity” – who had yielded his flyweight belt in front of the Filipino crowd last January against Adriano Moraes – a spot as an alternate in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
Eustaquio displayed the Team Lakay-brand of defense and striking against the South Korean in all 3 rounds after a dull opening minute.
The 30-year-old Filipino brawler evaded Kim’s jabs through his fancy head movements while chipping in clean blows in the 1st round as the two fighters decided to take a striking battle in the middle of the ring.
The South Korean was unable to utilize his height advantage as Eustaquio caught every thrown kick and continued to decorate Kim’s face with bruises by landing classic spinning back fist and solid one-two combinations in the 2nd round of the fight.
Kim connected a high knee and engaged an all-out assault midway through the last round that made the former champion bleed, but “Gravity” was too far ahead from his 26-year-old opponent and capitalized his victory via last-second takedown.
Eustaquio will be an alternate fighter in the ongoing ONE Flyweight Grand Prix, in case one of the fighters will be forced to sit out due to injury.
In the main event, Christian “The Warrior” Lee (12-3) snatched the ONE lightweight crown from Japanese veteran Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki (43-9) via second-round stoppage.
Aoki asserted grappling dominance as he pinned down the challenger from the get-go, but Lee managed to survive the armbar attempt of the champion in the opening frame.
The 20-year-old Singaporean did not let Aoki bring the fight in his ground territory in the 2nd round as he rocked the champion with a solid right straight to the chin and showered the veteran with brutal punches on the ground.
Aoki had reclaimed the ONE lightweight belt over former Filipino lightweight champion Eduard Folayang last March in Japan.
For the co-main event, Regian “The Immortal” Eersel (54-4) was hailed as the first ONE lightweight kickboxing world champion as he overpowered Nieky “The Natural”Holzken (92-15) in a tightly contested bout via unanimous decision.
Holzken dictated the tempo early by throwing superb leg kicks but Eersel picked up the pace in the 3rd round by throwing high knees and eventually hit Holzken’s face to score a knockdown in the fourth round.
Meanwhile, Richard “Notorious” Corminal (4-5) came up short against the 28-year-old Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju (6-4) as he was trumped into the opening round via submission (4:43).
Corminal tried to be aggressive as they exchanged tough blows just minutes after the bell rang.
Despite being gassed out, the 37-year-old Filipino valiantly connected a solid right hand into the face of the Indian fighter that sent him to the canvass.
Raju, though, quickly recovered and brought the brawl to the ground where he pounded the bloody Corminal before he sneaked in a rear-naked choke with less than 20 seconds remaining in the 1st round.
The Filipino veteran remained winless since his ONE Championship debut in 2017 and crashed into a four-game slump.
ONE: Enter the Dragon Full Card:
Christian Lee (SIN) def. Shinya Aoki (JPN) via Rd. 2 TKO (0:51)
(Kickboxing) Regian Eersel (NEL) def. Nieky Holzken (NEL) via UD
(Kickboxing) Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy (THA) def. Giorgio Petrosyan (ITA) via split decision
(Kickboxing) Samy Sana (FRA) def. Yodsanklai Iwe Fairtex (THA) via UD
Cosmo Alexandre (BRA) def. Sage Northcutt (USA) via Rd. 1 TKO (0:29)
Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev (TUR) def. Amir Khan (SIN) via Rd. 1 TKO (2:56)
Geje Eustaquio (PHI) def. Kim Kyu Sung (KOR) via UD
Mao Li Tao (CHN) def. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (THA) via Rd. 1 TKO
(Kickboxing) Jo Nattawut def. Sasha Moisa via Rd. 3 TKO (1:24)
Yoshitaka Naito (JPN) def. Alex Silva (BRA) via UD
Garry Tonon (USA) def. Yoshiki Nakahara (JPN) via Rd. 1 submission (Heel Hook, 0:55)
(Kickboxing) Dzhabar Askerov (RUS) def. Enkiro Kehl (GER) via UD
Mei Yamaguchi (JPN) def. Laura Balin (ARG) via Rd. 1 submission (Armbar, 3:46)
Iurie Lapicus (MD) def. Shannon Wiratchai (THA) via Rd. 3 submission (RNC, 3:10)
(Kickboxing) Daniel Dawson (AUS) def. Brown Pinas (NET) via split decision
Rahul Raju (IND) def. Richard Corminal (PHI) via Rd. 1 submission (RNC, 4:43)