Adriano Moraes: To underestimate Geje Eustaquio would be unwise

Adriano Moraes, Kairat Akhtemov

Adriano Moraes, Kairat Akhtemov

Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 29, of Brazil and Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, of the Philippines are facing each other in the ONE Championship cage for the second time. The two flyweight mixed martial artists will co-headline “ONE: Pinnacle of Power” on June 23, 2018 at the Studio City Event Center in Macau, China.

Reigning as the ONE Flyweight World Champion, Moraes is embarking on an impressive four-bout winning streak, which includes unifying and defending his title. He prepares for what he perceives as the most difficult title defense of his second reign as the division’s kingpin.

“Geje Eustaquio has earned the highest level of my respect,” Moraes said. “If anything, there is no chance of me underestimating him. That would be unwise. We’ve all seen his improvement as a martial artist.”

The reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion may be riding a wave of momentum after defeating Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, 30, of Kazakhstan and Danny “The King” Kingad, 22, of the Philippines to cap off his 2017 campaign. But for the Brazilian champ, underestimating a familiar foe like Eustaquio could result to a big blunder.

In September 2014, Moraes and Eustaquio stood opposite each other for the first time. The two collided for the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Championship.

Moraes derailed Eustaquio’s championship aspirations as he found a way to counteract his opponent’s striking prowess in the second round and then forced the Filipino fighter to wave the white flag with a guillotine choke. Since their initial encounter, the two have gone from success to success.

Representing Team Lakay of Baguio City, Philippines, Eustaquio became the ONE Interim Flyweight Champion on January 26, 2018 when he defeated Akhtemov via unanimous decision at “ONE: Global Superheroes” in the Philippines. Watch their bout here:

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