Pinoy fan-favorite Eugene Toquero isn't done fighting just yet

ONE Championship on Apr 15, 2017 05:31 PM
Pinoy fan-favorite Eugene Toquero isn't done fighting yet
"This time, l will make sure that my hand is raised as the winner that night." - Eugene Toquero (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)

Benjamin Franklin said: "When you've finished changing, you're finished." Eugene Toquero isn't finished just yet. The 35-year-old still believes he has plenty to offer in the ONE Championship flyweight division.

He returns to the cage on 21 April at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, and he'll have the opportunity to show he is still relevant in front of his hometown fans at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

Form isn't on his side, as he has suffered three defeats in his last four contests, but that would only be a career-ending problem if Toquero was unwilling to adapt. With the fast-changing dynamic of mixed martial arts, one cannot stay still and expect to remain competitive. 

However, seeing the rut he was in, the Filipino fighter has made hard decisions, and is now training at Hybrid Manila MMA. He believes this will help rejuvenate the performances that saw him go 5-0 at the start of his career back in 2011.

"If my opponent did not train well, then I will eat him alive inside the cage," Toquero asserted, confident in his new training regime. I have made other adjustments. I train longer and harder now.”

His next challenge will be unbeaten Indonesian Stefer Rahardian, a submission-savvy fighter who has already posted three straight victories under the ONE Championship banner. With three times as many bouts to his credit, Toquero will be much more experienced than his 4-0 foe. This bout will be time served versus momentum, with both men vying for different goals.

The Manila native hopes this experience will pay dividends when they meet across the cage, but he won't be paying too much attention to his adversary's game plan. He thinks the key to victory is in focusing on himself, and making his A-game the priority.

"I never study my opponents. l do not care who they are, because in Muay Thai and my amateur fights we never knew who our opponents were. We train in the gym."

Not only will he have faith in his preparation, but he'll have the thousands of fans packed into the arena behind him as one of their own. Not only that, but the card will be stacked with his fellow countrymen, including ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang. 

Back in 2013, Foloyang found himself in a similar position with three defeats in four fights, and now he is the lightweight World Champion. He didn't let it deter him, and he came back stronger. All the inspiration any fighter on a bad run needs can be found right there.

With a fresh outlook, a change of gyms, and his back against the wall, Eugene Toquero is sure he has what it takes to get back to winning ways. When he steps into the fighting arena on 21 April, he will be supremely confident.

"This time, l will make sure that my hand is raised as the winner that night."

 

This article was first published in the ONE CHAMPIONSHIP Website. Photos courtesy of ONE Championship. 

 

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