ONE: After rebound win in Manila, Geje Eustaquio eager to enjoy the holidays with his family
Santino Honasan on Nov 21, 2019 03:01 PM
“At least mas magaan yung loob ko to end the year, and of course, festivities and holidays are coming, mas ma-eenjoy ko siguro yung holidays because of the positive result.” - Geje Eustaquio (Photo: Richard Esguerra)
2019 was a bit of a roller-coaster ride for former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio.
The Team Lakay star opened the year with a world title around his belt, but lost it in January after dropping a controversial decision loss to Adriano Moraes. Eustaquio would bounce back with a win over South Korean Kim Kyu Sung, but would then absorb the first knockout loss of his career at the hands of heavy-handed Japanese striker Yuya Wakamatsu.
In his final assignment for the year at ONE: Masters of Fate in Manila last November 8th, Eustaquio drew former title contender Toni Tauru of Finland in a rematch of their 2016 bout that saw the Pinoy get submitted in the second round.
History would not repeat itself however, as Eustaquio was able to gain a measure of revenge over Tauru, stopping the Finnish grappling wiz with a familiar-looking spinning kick to the gut.
The finishing blow was reminiscent of the one that Eustaquio’s teammate, former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon landed against Andrew Leone back in 2018. Eustaquio quipped that his Team Lakay brother was pleased to see it claim yet another victim.
As it turns out, the kick was something that they worked on in practice.
“I keep watching the spinning back kick of Kevin, and I've been doing it early this year, but in my past two recent fights, hindi ko siya na-apply because of small details and maybe I really needed to repeat it a thousand more times,” Eustaquio explained during the post-fight presser. “Of course I have the best coach on my side, he gives me the small details, kinorrect talaga namin, and tonight, it finally found its home.”
Eustaquio continued that the focus heading into the rematch was indeed to get the knockout, with the spinning back kick as one of the primary weapons.
“Nag-focus talaga kami, yung aim talaga namin is to knock him out, kung hindi sa spinning back kick, it's either sa left or right hook, kaya sa training camp ko, ang ginawa is yun yung nire-repeat-repeat namin na drills. It's either the left hook, the right hook, or the uppercut.”
After a few successful shots to the body, Eustaquio could feel that a finishing blow was imminent.
“Pero actually, early rounds, around second round or first round, iba na yung body language niya pag na-hihit ko siya sa bodega, kaya napapaisip ako na kaunti pa, kaunting sipag pa, kaunting sipag pa, ganun,” he shared.
As satisfying as the victory itself was, “Gravity” says that being able to execute to perfection a technique that he diligently worked on day in and day out was just as sweet a feeling.
“I'm very happy. Alam niyo yung feeling na kapag ginagawa mo every day, to be honest, I drilled that kick a thousand times, and then tonight, nakita niyo yung result, and sa harap ng mga kababayan kong Pilipino, it's very satisfying.”
“Masayang-masaya talaga ako, finally nai-apply ko yung part ng kick ko na yun, which is the spinning back kick,” he continued.
Now back in the winner’s circle, Eustaquio can breathe easy as the plans on enjoying the holidays with his family after ending the year on a high note.
"[The year] started with a loss, the good thing is it ended with a win for 2019,” said Eustaquio. “At least mas magaan yung loob ko to end the year, and of course, festivities and holidays are coming, mas ma-eenjoy ko siguro yung holidays because of the positive result.”