Geje earns One FC title shot-A A +A
Monday, June 16, 2014
GEJE Eustaquio needed the full 15 minutes to make his case for a title shot in the One fighting Championship vacant flyweight crown after outpointing Japan's Kentaro Watanabe.
The Team Lakay fighter of Baguio City flashed his superb striking skills in defeating Watanabe at ONE FC: Era of Champions at the Mata Elang International Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, June 14.
Watanabe appeared to have rocked Eustaquio early in the first round, leading the Filipino more tentative the rest of the round but the 25-year-old began to throw more striking combinations in the second round, landing several leg kicks and boxing combinations.
“I never felt he had strong blows so we stuck with our game plan,” said Eustaquio in a post fight interview.
Eustaquio and Watanabe put on a demonstration of elite level striking as they swapped blows for three rounds with the Igorot increasing his striking volume in the third round, and won the bout on all three judges’ scorecards.
"I learned that when we arrived in Jakarta, we were informed it was a title eliminator and I was not pressured but served as a motivation and excitement to fight harder," Eustaquio said in an interview with MMA website sherdog.com.
The Team Lakay striker improves his MMA record to 6-2 and earns a crack at the promotion’s inaugural flyweight championship against Adriano Moraes (11-1), the 25-year-old Brazilian who submitted Kosuke Suzuki with an arm-triangle choke at 1:25 of the third round in the main event.
“If ever I will be given the title fight, I want it to be in Manila,” said Eustaquio who made his plea to One FC CEO Victor Cui.
Moraes (11-1, three KOs, five submissions), on the other hand, forced the hand of Kosue Suzuki (10-4-2, three KOs, one submission) to tap out to an arm-triangle choke with 1:35 in the third round to earn the right to face Eustaquio for the flyweight strap.
Eustaquio’s win in the latter part of the nine-fight card lightened the mood for MMA fans in the country after Ruel Catalan and debuting Joseph “Jomanz Omanz” Omaña fall to their respective foreign counterparts earlier.
Catalan, a Wushu champion tapped out to Malaysian Gianni Subba via a triangle choke with 2:43 in the second round and fell to 2-5, with all of his losses coming by way of submissions.
Former ALA boxer Omaña showed his inexperience against former muay thai fighter Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke as referee Olivier Coste halted the bout with 27 seconds left in the first round.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 17, 2014.