Issue of September 10, 2017
     
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69th Courier Anniversary Issue
 
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Eustaquio eyes title bout soon
by ONE release

Team Lakay’s Geje Eustaquio has high hopes he will be back in the championship match if  he wins in his upcoming bout against former ONE flyweight champion Kairat Akhmetov on Sept. 16 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Eustaquio-Akhmetov match will be the main event of ONE: Total Victory that will take place at the Jakarta Convention Center.

The last time Eustaquio headlined a ONE Championship card was when he vied for the inaugural ONE flyweight world championship in a losing effort against Adriano Moraes in September 2014.

Since yielding to Moraes three years ago, Eustaquio has won three of his last five matches including a first-round knockout victory over Malaysian stalwart Saiful “The Vampire” Merican in January 2016 and a split decision win over Thai rival Anatpong Bunrad in their rematch last May.

Eustaquio sees it as a privilege to be in the main event of ONE: Total Victory opposite a former champion like Akhmetov.

“I worked hard to be back in this position again. It’s truly an honor and a privilege. Thank you ONE Championship for the opportunity and the trust to headline a stacked card like this one. I will showcase my best skills in this bout and take home the win for the Philippines,” Eustaquio said.

“Kairat Akhmetov is a world-class athlete in this sport. I can’t wait to test my skills against him inside the cage. When the cage door closes, it’s time for battle. I will make sure to come well prepared for this bout,” Eustaquio added.

Along with the rest of Team Lakay, Eustaquio looks better with every cage outing as he revealed that consistent improvement has always been his key to success.

The 28-year-old Igorot has focused intently on his wrestling and grappling, looking to make those disciplines an area of strength against Akhmetov.

“My ground game is coming. My wrestling is coming. I believe if you’re going to compare it with others, it’s not very low in terms of performance in wrestling or grappling,” Eustaquio stated. “Honestly speaking, I am not that far behind.”

Akhmetov boasts a solid 23-1 professional record amassed during a stellar martial arts career, which has seen him dominate his opponents with tenacious wrestling and powerful striking.

“I am prepared wherever the bout goes. I know Kairat Akhmetov has a good grappling background. I have a well-planned strategy for now,” Eustaquio assured.

The previously unbeaten Akhmetov, who just recently lost his title to Moraes via unanimous decision in championship unification clash this past August, still has the bitter taste of defeat in his mouth following what was the first loss of his career.

The 29-year-old Kazakh combatant would want nothing more than to get back in the cage with Moraes to regain his gold-plated strap.

However, Eustaquio stands firmly in his way as the Filipino mixed martial artist restarted his flyweight campaign with the win over Bunrad in May.

For Eustaquio, he has everything to gain in this upcoming contest as he believes that a convincing win will lead him closer to a rematch and an eventual title shot at Moraes’ ONE flyweight world championship belt.

“I want this win. I want to have a remarkable winning result, and then I want to move forward onto that flyweight belt. I am back in the main event. My next goal is to be back in the title hunt,” he said.

 
 
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