Geje Eustaqiuo won over Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov via unanimous decision to clinch the ONE interim flyweight world championship title in ONE: Global Superheroes at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Friday evening.
The 28-year old Team Lakay standout improved his record to 10 wins against six losses and became the fourth Filipino to win a ONE Championship title.
“The belt is not mine to take, it’s ours. I am proud to represent this flag all throughout the world. Here is your world champion from the Philippines,” said the newly crowned champion.
The Baguio native showcased a balanced game of striking and groundwork to subdue Akhmetov through five grueling rounds. Eustaquio has avenged his split-decision loss to the Kazakh last September.
Eustaquio’s strength and stamina were evident as he foiled Akhmetov’s attempt to score a ground and pound finish in the final frame.
With his victory, Eustaquio became just the second fighter to defeat Akhmetov, who also lost to Adriano Moraes last August in ONE: Kings and Conquerors. Akhmetov’s record dropped to 23-2.
Eustaquio is now set to face Moraes, the current ONE regular flyweight titleholder.
“Adriano (Moraes), I know you’re there. Give me one more try and I hope to give you a better fight this time,” Eustaquio said after the match.
Moraes, for his part, welcomed the Filipino’s challenge.
“He really deserved (to win) tonight. I would like to do it again,” Moraes said.
In the co-main event, another Filipino bet Joshua Pacio won using his grappling skills against Lan Ming Qiang of China, submitting the latter via rear naked choke four minutes after the opening round.
Coming from a wushu background, the 22-year old Pacio unleashed powerful kicks to soften Qiang to set up a submission technique.
Pacio improved his card to 11-2.
Meanwhile, Brazilian Rafael “Indio” Nuñes returned to ONE with a win using a D’Arce choke over Filipino Eric Kelly, who suffered his fourth consecutive loss.
Meanwhile, Kelly’s younger brother, Edward “The Ferocious,” knocked out Meas Meul of Cambodia at the 21 seconds mark of the first round of their featherweight battle.
In the women’s class, Filipina Jomary Torres needed only 40 seconds to KO Team Lakay fighter and compatriot April Osenio.
In the all-muaythai bout, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao stopped Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri with a barrage of strikes at 2:30 minute mark of the second round.
In the other matches, Ma Hao Bin defeated Sotir Kichukov by unanimous decision (flyweight category), Hayato Suzuki trounced Yago Bryan by rear naked choke (strawweight), Emilio Urrutia won over Bruno Pucci by knockout (featherweight), Singh Meena used a guillotine choke to subdue Zhang He Hao (lightweight), and Adrian Matheis bested Eddey Kalai via rear naked choke (strawweight).