MMA, martial arts

Team Lakay’s Geje Eustaquio is a different fighter now: Adriano Moraes

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ONE Interim Flyweight Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 29, of the Philippines is given the opportunity to avenge himself from his loss to reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, 29, of Brazil in 2014. It will be the third time the Filipino fighter is having a rematch inside the ONE Championship cage.

Representing Team Lakay of Baguio City, Philippines, Eustaquio is coming off a title-clinching performance, defeating Akhmetov via unanimous decision in a rematch for the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship in January 2018. Moraes was at cageside when Eustaquio toppled Akhmetov, noticing the evident evolution of the Filipino fighter from a pure striker to an all-around competitor.

Eustaquio displayed on-point sprawls in his cage encounter with Akhmetov. The Team Lakay fighter exhibited his ability to sinuously execute sweeps and guards and his sturdy top control on the mat.

“I’ve seen many of his fights, including his last one in Manila against Kairat Akhmetov,” Moraes said of Eustaquio. “He’s more of a striker, but he has picked up his game remarkably. He is a different fighter now. That makes him so dangerous.”

Eustaquio may have exhibited a new facet of his growing skillset that could pose a problem to the Brazilian combatant. But Moraes seems not worried about it as he sees himself as a different mixed martial arts competitor as well.

“I’m not looking past Geje,” Moraes declared. “Every fight is different, and each fighter has his or her strengths and weaknesses. We’ve expanded our skills since the last time we fought each other. He will come in prepared, but one thing is for sure: I will have my hand raised.”

Moraes is feavily reliant on his specialization in the grappling department. He won three of his last four matches by way of submission.

Although Eustaquio appears to have the upper hand in the striking arena due to his Wushu pedigree, Moraes has no qualms when it comes to trading kicks and punches with the Team Lakay fighter. The Brazilian champion described his Filipino rival as “a good and technical striker.”

“He was able to show off in his last fight that he now has grappling techniques,” Moraes said of Eustaquio. “Things have changed for him. The same goes with me.”

The rematch between Moraes and Eustaquio will be the co-main event of “ONE: Pinnacle of Power,” which will take place at the Studio City Event Center in Macau, China on June 23, 2018. Meanwhile, here is a clip from Eustaquio’s most recent bout:

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