ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio likes teammate Danny Kingad’s chances against Demetrious Johnson
Santino Honasan on Jun 07, 2019 04:50 PM
“Of course, DJ is the crowd favorite, knowing that he’s a Hall of Famer, but this is mixed martial arts. Nobody can predict mixed martial arts, anybody can win. Danny can stand a chance, most especially since he is hungry, he is young, he can make it,” - Geje Eustaquio on Danny Kingad
Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is confident that his Team Lakay teammate and fellow flyweight contender Danny “The King” Kingad has what it takes to go all the way in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
The 22-year old Kingad defeated Japan’s Senzo Ikeda in the quarterfinals at ONE: A New Era back in March. Now, he braces for a former champion in Kairat Akhmetov in the semifinals.
Of course, the focus is fully on Akhmetov right now, and the Kazakh is a familiar opponent for Team Lakay, with Eustaquio having gone against him twice before.
Still, it’s hard not to look ahead, being that Kingad is just two wins away from becoming the tournament champion, and he’s one win away from possibly facing off against one of the best flyweight competitors in mixed martial arts history.
On the opposite side of the bracket is former long-time flyweight world champion and Pound-for-Pound king Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who defeated Japanese striker Yuya Wakamatsu in his promotional debut and quarterfinal matchup.
Johnson is set to take on another Japanese contender in Tatsumitsu Wada in the semifinals.
If all goes to plan for Kingad, he will be facing Johnson in the Finals of the tournament.
Because of his pedigree and his list of achievements, it would be easy to put Johnson as the favorite against pretty much everyone in the flyweight division, but Eustaquio believes that Kingad has the chops to pull off a massive upset.
In terms of the last time I saw yung competition between Demetrious Johnson and Yuya Wakamatsu, I can see that it’s not impossible to beat DJ,” Eustaquio stated. “Tao rin siya, kumbaga, dumudugo din pala siya, so there’s also a big possibility na mananalo din si Danny kung mag-laban sila.”
Should Kingad and Johnson end up opposite each other in the finals, Eustaquio is banking on his teammates’ youth and hunger as keys to victory.
“Of course, DJ is the crowd favorite, knowing that he’s a Hall of Famer, but this is mixed martial arts. Nobody can predict mixed martial arts, anybody can win. Danny can stand a chance, most especially since he is hungry, he is young, he can make it,” he said.
Eustaquio is also back on track after defeating South Korean newcomer Kim Kyu Sung at ONE: Enter The Dragon in Singapore, and earning himself a spot as an alternate in the tournament.
Whatever happens in the tournament, down the road, the prospect of a Geje Eustaquio versus Demetrious Johnson matchup is not out of the realm of possibility, and the Pinoy says that it would be an privilege to possibly be matched up against someone the caliber of Johnson.
“Yes, it’s a privilege to compete with these legends, a Hall of Famer,” he said. “I can see, meron naman siyang mga weaknesses, it’s just, it always boils down to the preparation and the right gameplan. That’s the formula I can see to compete with, or defeat DJ.”