Geje Eustaquio decisions Kairat Akhmetov to become ONE interim flyweight champion
Geje Eustaquio beats former ONE champion Kairat Akhmetov via Unanimous Decision to become the new ONE interim flyweight world champion
The Philippines has a new champion!
Flyweight contender Geje 'Gravity' Eustaquio outstruck former ONE world champion Kairat Akhmetov through five rounds to become the new ONE interim flyweight world champion in front of a jam-packed Mall of Asia Arena crowd during Friday's ONE: Global Superheroes card.
Eustaquio used his superior striking to pick Akhmetov apart in the standup department, while showcasing his much-improved takedown defense to buck off a number of the former champ's attempts to bring the fight to the mat.
In the opening round, Akhmetov managed to clamp on to Eustaquio and threaten with a Rear Naked Choke, but the Pinoy manage to escape and surprise the former champ with a kneebar attempt.
The Baguio City native was visibly more loose as the fight went on, sticking and moving and unloading a barrage of kicks and punches that kept Akhmetov at bay.
Akhmetov threatened with a deep guillotine again in the third round, and again, Eustaquio managed to survive.
In the fourth round, Eustaquio tried to get a guillotine submission of his own but couldn't get the finish.
Eustaquio continued to control the final round with strikes, but Akhmetov scored a late takedown to end the fight in top position.
After five rounds, all three judges saw the fight in favor of Eustaquio.
"This belt is not mine but it's ours! It's ours! My family was always there for me. The Team Lakay family never doubted me." an ecstatic Eustaquio said during the post-fight interview. "I'm proud to represent this flag and this country all over the world. This champion comes from the third world country called the Philippines. This is ours guys!"
"Gravity" exacts some revenge on Akhmetov, who came away victorious in their first encounter in 2017.