Filipino Flyweight sensation Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio (6-2) will face his stiffest test to date against Brazilian submission specialist Adriano “Black Diamond” Moraes (11-1) on September 12, 2014 for the inaugural One FC 125 pound Championship in Cambodia as the main feature of One FC 20 – Rise of the Kingdom.
One of Team Lakay’s most promising fighters, Eustaquio is known for his methodical approach in a fight. He comes from a solid wushu sanshou background, a traditional Chinese martial arts that combines punching, kicking, and takedowns, and he’s developed a solid grappling game that’s made him much more dangerous inside the cage. Eustaquio has never gotten intimidated by his usually bigger opponents.
Eustaquio is coming off a spectacular unanimous decision victory over the powerful Japanese fighter Kentaro Watanabe in June at One FC 17 which marks his two consecutive wins in the ultra-competitive flyweight division of One FC which earned him a shot at the title against Moraes. The 25-year-old is the second Filipino fighter attempting to become a One FC title holder, following his team mate, Honorio “The Rock” Banario, the former Featherweight Champion.
Since losing to Yusup Saadulaev in his One FC debut last November of 2013 via split decision, Brazilian ground specialist Moraes scored two successive submission victories over Yasuhiro Urushitani and Kosuke Suzuki to earn his way into the title contention against Eustaquio. Moraes looks to become the second Brazilian One FC champion after his compatriot Bibiano Fernandes, the current Bantamweight Champion. He’ll be on a tough mission facing scrappy Eustaquio in one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
MMA-in-Asia spoke with Eustaquio shortly before his title bout on his training for the most important fight of his life, what separates him from other flyweights, and how he thinks he’ll fare against Moraes.
MMA-in-Asia: First of all, you’re coming off a huge win over Kentaro Watanabe at One FC 17. What made your masterful performance that night?
Eustaquio: It was a well-done game plan.
MMA-in-Asia: You struggled to find your rhythm and timing in the first round. He tagged you with couple of punches but you managed to get back up quickly. What was going through your mind? Were you hurt by his punches?
Eustaquio: I was not hurt with that punch; to be honest, I still felt normal at that time. It’s just that I was a bit confused about his plan towards me. But by the time he unleashed his striking, that turned it into my favour and I finally understood him.
MMA-in-Asia: You showed how skilled of a fighter you’ve become. How has life changed after that win against the Japanese flyweight sensation?
Eustaquio: Life is still pretty similar as before. It’s not a lottery game that I’ve won, but it started my life to be a hell of training… so, hell training!
MMA-in-Asia: What are your thoughts on Adriano Moraes?
Eustaquio: Adriano is a very huge guy in the flyweight division, well versed in BJJ, a good wrestler, an accurate striker, and a warrior who can’t be easily defeated inside the cage.
MMA-in-Asia: This is going to be your first time fighting as the main event of the night. What does this opportunity fighting for the belt mean to you as a fighter?
Eustaquio: I’ve been on the main cards even when I was young, locally and nationally, but in the international arena, it’s my first time to headline such a great event like this. I mean, this is the biggest MMA promotion in Asia. Fighting for the title is the last step in my dream to be considered as a champ. I’m willing to give it all and sacrifice a lot for this fight.
MMA-in-Asia: Moraes is massive flyweight indeed with grinding grappling game. How do you prepare for the biggest fight of your MMA career so far?
Eustaquio: This is the hardest preparation I’ve had all through out my life. It’s a mind-racking stage and a very emotional one.
MMA-in-Asia: Are you concerned at all about Moraes’ height, reach, and his ground advantages over you?
Eustaquio: A good fighter should always be concerned with the strength of his opponent but never get intimidated by it.
MMA-in-Asia: You mentioned in our recent interview before the Watanabe fight that you are already used to being the underdog. How confident are you going to this fight against Moraes and what do you expect from him come fight night?
Eustaquio: Confidence is a fighter’s weapon. You should always bring it with you because if you don’t have confidence in yourself, it means the end of the game for you. I’m expecting a Brazilian warrior fully armed to go to war.
MMA-in-Asia: Why is it that every time you fight there is no sign of your being nervous? You always look relaxed and calm whenever you’re inside the cage. Why is this?
Eustaquio: Nervousness is a part of the game. If you don’t feel nervous, it’s an abnormal thing. It’s just that I know I’m ready enough and prepared enough going into a war and that gives myself my own back up.
MMA-in-Asia: What makes Geje Eustaquio unique compared to other flyweight fighters out there?
Eustaquio: I know how to cheat my mind!