ONE Championship: Shaky Third Round Had Mark Sangiao At The Edge Of His Seat
ABS-CBN Sports on May 22, 2019 04:44 PM
Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao got a bit nervous during the final round of Geje Eustaquio's win over Kim Kyu Sung (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio passed his recent test with flying colors.
However, he gave his coach Mark Sangiao a brief moment of fright during the bout.
The Benguet native faced lanky South Korean Kim Kyu Sung on the main card of ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON last Friday, 17 May, and he left the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a unanimous decision.
"Gravity" found his rhythm early and dominated the first couple of rounds, only to see the six-foot tall South Korean come alive in the third and final stanza. Eustaquio took his share of damage before the bout ended, and it worried Sangiao to see his athlete in that situation.
"In the last round, Geje kind of slowed down. I noticed he was slowing down, and I was kind of nervous at that time, but the nice thing about Geje is he knows what he’s doing in there," the Team Lakay head coach admitted.
"For all the things that he was doing — the heavy blows, and the spinning kicks and fist — that takes a lot out of you. That’s why he got tired. We wanted a finish, but he was tough and he was long. Geje’s follow-ups weren’t going through."
Sangiao said that Eustaquio's superior striking and speed were key in overcoming Kim's height and reach advantage.
He explained that his star pupil had to move swiftly during the contest to stay ahead, and this resulted in “Gravity” losing some steam in the final round.
"I think Geje saw that Kim was a bit slow, though he was really tall, so it was tough to cut the distance,” he shared. “In the end, he slowed down a bit, and that’s why Kim was able to hit him.”
Sangiao, however, is still satisfied with Eustaquio’s performance — especially with how the former ONE Flyweight World Champion was able to build on his shortcomings that were exposed in his bout against Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes from last January.
There’s only one more thing he wished “Gravity” would have done in the match — get the stoppage.
"I wanted him to control the bout more,” he said. “I wanted him to work to finish."