Eustaquio to prove he’s top 5 in a stacked division, confident to halt Song’s win streak

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Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio of the Philippines has been sitting quietly in the corner, watching the flyweight division’s top athletes move swiftly through the rankings.

The 31-year-old veteran is, however, quick to establish that he’s still as dangerous as ever, and wants to remind everyone of who he is as a fighter in his next outing.

Eustaquio is set to face South Korean national champion “Running Man” Song Ming Jong at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, a previously-recorded event from Singapore scheduled for air on Friday, 13 November. The bout will be contested at a 64kg catchweight.

The Team Lakay pioneer remains fixated on earning another shot at the ONE Flyweight World Title, and wants to use Song as a springboard into the rankings.

“Nothing has changed for me. I’m still grinding everyday and honing my arsenal. My goal is and has always been the belt, that’s my motivation to keep going. I feel like I still deserve to be in the top five, and I want to prove that in this next fight,” said Eustaquio.

“I think this performance is very important for me, because I want to show fans that I still exist. Maybe they forgot. I’m here to remind them of the kind of fighter that I am. I’m excited to be back in my office.”

Against Song, Eustaquiao faces a highly-regarded ONE Warrior Series product riding a four-bout win streak. Song is also the former Road FC Flyweight Champion, so Eustaquio knows not to underestimate him.

The Team Lakay stalwart fully expects Song to come into this bout in his best condition and looking for the upset. He plans to use Song’s aggression against him, and dominate him in all areas.

“With a chance to move up the ladder, I expect him to come in hungry, motivated, and eager to win. That’s why I have to be very careful,” said Eustaquio.

“I believe I am more experienced. I think that will be my edge in this fight. The level of competition that I have faced is different, and a whole lot harder compared to him. That said, I will be looking for the finish – whether it be standing up or on the ground. Expect the unexpected. This is mixed martial arts, and anything can happen. But like in my last match, I am aiming for a finish once more.”

Eustaquio fully recognizes that this fight is a pivotal juncture in his ONE Championship tenure. It will signal if he truly is worthy to be counted among the best, or if he needs to reevaluate his situation.

As such, he’s prepared himself extensively to give a good performance, and he promises fans they won’t be disappointed.

“This is a very important point of my career. In every competition, we treat it as the most important – and this one is no different, especially since I want to get back to the top of the flyweight division,” said Eustaquio,

“We don’t come in fights unprepared. We go in there and give it our all. We persevere. We give our blood and sweat just to make sure we come in prepared regardless of who’s in front of us. That’s our culture and attitude in Team Lakay.”

Confident in halting Song’s Win Streak

In Song, Eustaquio faces a South Korean national mixed martial arts champion, and a product of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series. Song is known for his tricky ground game, and his ability to pull out tough victories.

“Gravity” remains respectful of Song before their showdown but says he fully expects to leave the arena with his hands raised in victory at the end of the night.

“I have a lot of respect for him. He is a good martial artist. He’s also made his mark in the world of mixed martial arts and has enough experience. He’s got good size, and he has a pretty decent ground game. But he’s never faced anyone like me. I’m a well-rounded fighter and I plan to show that in this fight,” said Eustaquio.

“I’m preparing with the best team, Team Lakay. Every day, I’m surrounded by world champions and athletes, by world-class trainers and coaches. I am constantly trying to upgrade my ground game and wrestling.”

Eustaquio is coming off an impressive victory over former conqueror Toni “Dynamite” Tauru last November 2019, winning by spectacular spinning back kick knockout in the final round.

The 31-year-old veteran member of Team Lakay wants to build on that momentum, and hopefully position himself for another shot at the ONE World Title down the line.

“I can’t decide whether I’m next in line for a title shot or not. Ultimately, my performances will speak for itself. My role is to train and perform at my best, always,” said Eustaquio. “But if the opportunity will present itself, of course, I believe I deserve it. It will happen in God’s perfect time.”

On a lighter note, Eustaquio is happy to be back doing what he loves to do, and feels extra motivated to build a little win streak.

“I’m very excited to get back inside the ONE Circle, it’s been a very long time. I’m confident I can get this win, despite what we’ve all experienced in the pandemic. It’s time to turn this experience into a positive,” said Eustaquio.

“For me, I took the lockdown as a good thing. I got to spend time with my family and friends. Thankfully, being in Baguio City, I could still enjoy going for a dirt bike ride in the mountains, or horseback riding. I am very lucky to be living in Baguio.”

ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III is a previously-recorded event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore for global broadcast this Friday night, November 13 that features Eustaquio’s teammate at Team Lakay, former ONE Bantamweight World Champion and top ranked bantamweight contender Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon against fifth-ranked bantamweight contender John “Hands of Stone” Lineker of Brazil in the main event,.

Cordillera and Philippine audiences can watch the event on November 13 on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.

By Armando M. Bolislis