ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes share moment of respect
Santino Honasan on Jan 26, 2019 12:51 PM
"I have to admit, without Adriano, I am not as skilled as I am right now, I am not as good as I am right now, itís all because of him." - Geje Eustaquio
When it was all said and done, Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes shared a moment of respect after their five-round war at ONE: Hero's Ascent, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
For the third time in their careers, Eustaquio and Moraes battled for the ONE Flyweight World Championship, and for the second time, it was Moraes who came away the victory, taking the trilogy match via unanimous decision.
After the belt was awarded to Moraes, he and Eustaquio kneeled in front of each other shook hands and embraced. In between them was the gold strap that will forever keep their legacies intertwined.
Geje Eustaquio versus Adriano Moraes is ONE Championship's first real rivalry, with their history going back to 2014 when they first met.
Three world title matches later, nothing remains between the two aside from utmost respect.
"I’m thanking him for bringing the best version of Geje Eustaquio," the Filipino former champion said when asked what he told Moraes during that touching moment. "Because I have to admit, without Adriano, I am not as skilled as I am right now, I am not as good as I am right now, it’s all because of him."
"He has been in the flyweight division for four years, and if you are the champion, the rest of the division is looking forward to every move you have, every angle you move, they always study you. I got the chance to thank him for making me a better Geje Eustaquio."
Moraes shared the same sentiments, saying that he considers Eustaquio more than just an opponent, but rather a friend and a 'ONE Championship teammate'.
"Me and Geje, we worked together about six years ago. When I signed with ONE Championship, Geje Eustaquio was here already. I respect him a lot. We fought for the first flyweight world championship, me and Geje, we have history together, like opponents but like friends too. We are like ONE Championship teammates."
Moraes emphasized on how much it meant to be able to share some ONE Championship history with the Team Lakay star.
"If I’m not the champion, I was happy that Geje was the champion. When this history was finished, the first trilogy of ONE Championship, we just embraced each other and said ‘Thank you, for helping me to be a better person, better fighter, everyday. Thank you for this match, because if you don’t have a good opponent, you don’t have a good fight, and for those fighters who love to fight, you love to fight against a good fighter. Geje is a good fighter and I loved to have this history against him. It’s against him, but it’s like together with him."
While for now, it appears that the Eustaquio-Moraes trilogy has reached its end, down the road there's always a chance that the two top flyweights will cross paths once again.