Filipino flyweight star Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio will look to soar to new heights in the main event of ONE: TOTAL VICTORY in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday, 16 September.
The 28-year-old has faced some of the very best in his 14-bout career, compiling a 9-5 record against some of the best martial artists in ONE Championship, but is on a high after defeating old-time rival Anatpong Bunrad last May.
Now, he is scheduled to step into the cage to meet former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov (23-1), who is making his return after losing the belt to current titleholder Adriano Moraes last month, tasting defeat for the first time of his career in the process.
Despite being a former title challenger himself, Eustaquio’s latest match arguably represents the biggest test of his professional career, as he headlines a huge event against one of the world’s finest flyweights.
“Kairat (Akhmetov) is a very well-rounded athlete,” he explains. “He can dictate any bout either standing up or on the ground. It is going to be a very tough challenge, for sure. I have to prepare myself well so I can put in a good showing.
“This is an important bout for me. It all comes down to preparation. The first stage of competing is training, and right now I am working hard on my game.”
The match offers a fascinating clash of styles, with Eustaquio’s wushu-inspired striking arsenal taking on Akhmetov’s more grappling-based approach.
“He is a great wrestler, so I have to be ready for his takedowns,” he admits. “If this match goes to the ground, I am still confident in my skills, but he will definitely have the advantage.”
Despite conceding the advantage to his opponent on the mat, “Gravity” says the pendulum will swing the other way if the bout remains on the feet.
“I feel I have the edge in both speed and movement,” he adds. “Speed is important in any contest. If I had to identify one asset to take with me into any battle, it would be speed. Speed gives me power and unpredictability. Movement is second, because with good movement I can avoid getting hit, and I can move in to unload my offence.”
Victory for Eustaquio will put him right in line for a shot at ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes, and an opportunity to avenge the second-round submission loss he suffered to the Brazilian three years ago. It is a quest that could eventually end with him holding gold.
“My dream is to become ONE Flyweight World Champion, and I believe if I can beat Kairat, my rematch with Adriano (Moraes) will come in perfect time. God willing, I see myself scoring a knockout in this bout,” he saus.
“One day I will be called champion. This bout against Akhmetov is so important. I will be sure to give it my all.”