The long-awaited rematch between Team Lakay fighter Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 28, of the Philippines and Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhtemov, 30, of Kazakhstan has been confirmed. They will battle it out in the interim ONE Flyweight World Championship bout at “ONE: Global Superheroes.”
On September 16, 2017, Eustaquio faced Akhtemov for the first time. The Team Lakay fighter lost via split decision in the main event of “ONE: Total Victory” at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia.
On January 26, 2018, Eustaquio and Akhtemov will have their rematch at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. This is the sixth time the Team Lakay fighter is fighting in this venue and the first time for his Kazakh opponent to fight in the Philippines.
Currently, Akhtemov holds a professional MMA record of 21 wins and 1 loss while Eustaquio has 9 wins and 6 losses. The latter made his ONE Championship debut on February 11, 2012 at “ONE: Battle of Heroes” at the Kelapa Gading Sports Mall in Jakarta where he lost via unanimous decision to Alex “Little Rock” Silva, who is now the reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion.
On May 31, 2013, Eustaquio returned into the ONE Championship cage. He lost to Andrew Leone, 30, of the United States via unanimous decision at “ONE: Rise to Power” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
But the Team Lakay fighter was undeterred. He had his third ONE Championship bout on December 6, 2013 at “ONE: Moment of Truth” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena where he defeated his fellow Filipino fighter Eugene Toquero, 36, via unanimous decision.
“ONE: Global Superheroes” marks the second time Eustaquio is fighting in a rematch. On May 26, 2017, he was successful when he faced Anatpong “Mak Mak” Bunrad, 31, of Thailand for the second time at “ONE: Dynasty of Heroes” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.
On April 24, 2015, Bunrad won at “ONE: Valor of Champions” at the Mall of Asia Arena against Eustaquio via split decision, the same result as that of their rematch in favor of the latter. In between Eustaquio and Bunrad’s first and second bouts, the Team Lakay fighter defeated Malaysian fighters Giannu Subba, 25, and Saiful “The Vampire” Merican, 29, but lost to Toni “Dynamite” Tauru, 33, of Finland.
Before facing Bunrad for the first time, Eustaquio lost to Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 28, of Brazil via guillotine choke submission at “ONE: Rise of the Kingdom” at the Koh Pich Theatre in Phnomh Penh, Cambodia. The latter is now the reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion.
Having a rematch is not something new to Akhtemov either. He defeated Moraes via split decision at “ONE: Dynasty of Champions” at the Olympics Sports Center Gymnasium in Beijing, China on November 21, 2015 but lost to the Brazilian fighter via unanimous decision during their rematch at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors” at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China on August 5, 2017.
Eustaquio’s fellow Team Lakay members Joshua “Passion” Pacio and Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly and their fellow Baguio native Eric “The Natural” Kelly are also in the “ONE: Global Superheroes” fight card. Meanwhile, here is a short interview with Eustaquio: