MANILA, Philippines–For someone who had been knocked off his lofty perch, Geje Eustaquio remains an inspired man.
“I really want to build on my last win,” the former ONE Flyweight champion told the Inquirer in Filipino. “That’s why I’m doing my best to improve my arsenal.”
Eustaquio tabbed a rebound victory at the expense of Finland’s Toni Tauru in the promotion’s last event here in November of last year, hiking his win-loss record to 13-8 since losing the crown to Brazilian rival Adriano Moraes.
And like many athletes around the world whose plans were hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, Eustaquio is making the most out of free time to refine his craft.
“I want to develop my wrestling and my accuracy,” he said.
Eustaquio said he is also drawing inspiration from the meteoric rise of his Lakay teammate Danny Kingad, who has become the second-best contender in flyweight just behind MMA icon Demetrious Johnson, and the recent success of the fight stable as a whole. Joshua Pacio has again successfully defended his strawweight throne, while Lito Adiwang, too, is on pace to make his own ascent in the division ladder.
“I feel like their achievements are mine, too,” said the 31-year-old striker said.
Eustaquio, however, acknowledged the fact that the trek back on top won’t be devoid of challenges.
During his 2019 campaign, he suffered an opening-round loss to top contender Yuya Wakamatsu. Also on the horizon as Eustaquio’s biggest hurdles are Reece McLaren and Kairat Akhmetov.
“I know our division is challenging,” he said. “But I know we haven’t fallen far behind.”
“I believe I am one of the veterans in the (flyweight class) and I feel that could serve as a huge advantage. Also, I have seen the big names play.”
In fact, he is willing to fight against anyone: “It’s not my job to choose. My job is to compete.” INQ
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