ONE Championshio: Pacio win gave Geje Eustaquio hope of regaining world championship
Santino Honasan on May 17, 2019 01:10 PM
"Heroes are being talked about, are known for the struggles that they conquer. It’s not about how many times they win or how many times they become champion, it’s about the struggles that they conquer.” - Geje Eustaquio
The beginning of 2019, for all intents and purposes, was not too kind to Team Lakay.
The Benguet-based mixed martial arts stable ended 2018 with four ONE world titles to their name, and by the end of March, they had lost all of them.
It didn’t take long for the tide to turn in favor of the Philippines’ premier MMA team however, as April saw Joshua Pacio, the first to lose his title in 2019, regain the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a spectacular headkick knockout win over Japan’s Yosuke Saruta at ONE: Roots of Honor in Manila back in April 12th.
Pacio’s title win has been nothing but a breath of fresh air for Team Lakay, who hopes that the return of a world title would mean even more victories in the coming months.
More importantly, it gives the team’s former world champions even more hope that they too can regain their titles.
One such former world champion is flyweight Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, who makes his return to the cage at ONE: Enter The Dragon on Friday, May 17th at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, opposite South Korean newcomer Kyu Sung Kim.
It will be Eustaquio’s first time back since losing his ONE Flyweight World Championship to Adriano Moraes in Manila back in January.
Now, the 30-year old hopes to work his way back to the top of the division and once again earn a shot at the title.
“Ito yung maganda sa Team Lakay. We inspire each and every one. As they say, ‘Iron sharpens iron.’ Yung pagka-panalo ni Joshua the last time tells us na it’s really not impossible that we can one more time, climb the huge mountain despite the huge mountain in front of us,” said Eustaquio.
Pacio isn’t the first world champion from Team Lakay to be able to regain a world title, as Eduard Folayang has had two runs as the ONE Lightweight World Champion, before dropping it to rival Shinya Aoki in Tokyo back in March.
“The thing is, we already proved na hindi talaga imposible, and everybody deserves and everybody has the chance to get the title, and I believe, with the hard work that we are doing, with the right people in our back, we’re going to get the belt one more time,” Eustaquio added.
While obviously, Eustaquio is yearning for another chance at gold, the flyweight star is willing to work his way back to contender status, and is focused on improving even more.
“Sa akin, focus lang ako sa getting better and better, and I believe that in God’s perfect time, ibibigay din nila sa akin if I really deserve the title, or if Adriano is still the champion, then I believe I deserve a fourth match with him,” Eustaquio expressed.
Eustaquio, who has openly talked about nearly giving up his martial arts career at one point before becoming a world champion, admitted that after losing the title, he did feel a bit of hopelessness.
If there’s anything that these Team Lakay stars have shown however, it’s that hard work and determination definitely does pay off, and Eustaquio is confident that he can once again overcome this hurdle.
“Noong una, for me it looked hard, kasi another adjustment, but I came to the realization na heroes are being talked about, are known for the struggles that they conquer. It’s not about how many times they win or how many times they become champion, it’s about the struggles that they conquer.”
“Now, I am in a struggle, and that makes me excited to conquer this struggle and be back on top,” he shared.
Catch ONE: Enter The Dragon on Friday, May 17th LIVE at 8:00 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! It will also be available on live streaming via the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page, the ABS-CBN Sports Twitter Profile, and on https://sports.abs-cbn.com/ as well as iWant Sports.