BAGUIO

Geje seeking vengeance

REMATCH KING. After avenging his loss against Toni Tauru in their rematch last November, Geje Eustaquio is hoping to get a rematch against Yuya Wakmatsu, the only fighter who knocked the former world champion in his career. (ONE photo)

WITH ONE Championship resuming its scheduled event later this month in Thailand, former flyweight world champion Geje Eustaquio wants vengeance against Yuya Wakmatsu.

Eustaquio’s reasoning is simple.

“He is the only guy who knocked me out and I think I can also knock him out,” he states.

Wakamatsu, currently the number 4-ranked contender in the flyweight division, went toe-to-toe with Eustaquio at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in August in 2019 and knocked him with a crushing right cross just under two minutes into the match.

It was the first time the Baguio City-native had ever been knocked out in his nine-year professional mixed martial arts career.

Eustaquio certainly respects the Japanese star but he is also confident he can live up to his reputation and even the score if given the opportunity.

“The fighting style of Yuya is like wait for the knockout, wait for the knockout. It’s that kind of stuff,” he says. “Maybe if we’re going to compete again, I will push him. I will give the pace and we’ll see who can get the knockout.”

Ultimately, a second match-up between Geje and Wakamatsu is a decision for ONE’s matchmakers, and Eustaquio is perfectly fine with whoever they choose as his next opponent.

But if given the chance to dance with Wakamatsu again, “The Rematch King” is prepared to live up to his moniker.

The Team Lakay flyweight solidified his moniker “The Rematch King” winning sequels against the likes of reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes, Kairat Akhmetov and Anatpong Bunrad.

In November last year, Eustaquio ended 2019 by avenging a prior loss in highlight-reel fashion.

In ONE: Masters of Fate, the Filipino squared off against old foe Toni Tauru, who had defeated him via rear-naked choke nearly three years earlier.

But that night in Manila, the former flyweight king displayed his vast improvement in the Circle.

The Team Lakay veteran hung tough with the Finnish grappler on the ground, outstruck him as the match wore on, and ultimately landed a spinning back kick to the liver that earned him a third-round knockout victory.

For Eustaquio, it was an emotional moment.

“I was overwhelmed because my 2019 was up and down, [so I felt] very good that I closed 2019 with a knockout,” the Baguio City native recalls.

“I can still remember my jiu-jitsu was not very good [when I first fought Tauru]. But as time went on, as we always say in the gym, ‘We improve every day, as much as possible.’ There was a lot of development every day I was training, so I’m very happy I had gotten my revenge.”


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