Gravity Eustaquio gets sweet revenge in ONE Championship
MANILA, Philippines - Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio of Baguio City avenged last September’s loss against Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov, and became the interim ONE flyweight champion, in the main event of ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, at the Mall of Asia Arena, in Pasay, Friday, January 26.
After five grueling rounds, the local hero got the nod from all three judges, as he secured the victory via unanimous decision.
The first significant score came in the form of a takedown by Akhmetov in the 2:43 mark of the first round. The story of the fight, however, was Eustaquio’s grappling defense as the Kazakh was not able to do damage once the fight shifted to the ground.
Akhmetov landed a second takedown at 1:05 of round two, but Eustaquio was quick to reverse the position and ended up on top as the round closed.
Eustaquio started the 4th strong, landing a superman punch to Akhmetov just seconds into the round.
In the closing round, Eustaquio landed a solid punch to the mid-section that sent his opponent reeling. With two minutes remaining in the fight, Akhmetov shot for another takedown but found no success as Geje defended with a sprawl.
Friday’s bout is the second meeting between Eustaquio and Akhmetov. The two first met in Jakarta, Indonesia, for 2017's ONE: Total Victory event, where Akhmetov won in a controversial split decision.
In that 2017 bout, it appeared that the 28-year-old Filipino had secured a first-round knockout when he stunned Akhmetov with a series of up-kicks, but the fight was paused by referee Yuji Shimada. Up-kicks are legal in ONE Championship but the Kazakh was given time to recover.
Winning the interim flyweight title ensures Eustaquio of a future clash with ONE flyweight champ Adriano Moraes who successfully defended his crown against Team Lakay young gun Danny Kingad last November.
Eustaquio, who came into the fight as the underdog, gave the 30-year-old Kazakhstan native his only second defeat in 26 fights.
“This belt is not mine. It’s ours,” said the new interim ONE Flyweight champion. He then addressed Moraes who was in the arena. “Give me one more chance,” Eustaquio said. “One more time, Adriano,” he continued.
Current flyweight champion went on the ring to congratulate his next opponent. “Geje Eustaquio really deserves it tonight,” Moraes said. “I really respect this guy but this is my house, this is my crown. Let’s do this again,” added the champ. – Rappler.com