Following an impressive performance against Brazilian arch-nemesis, Adriano Moraes to unify the ONE flyweight world titles this past June, Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio puts his rivalry with the former champion behind him as he looks for more intriguing matchups in his nascent reign as the division’s kingpin.
The thought of returning to action and defending the gold-plated strap jolts the competitive spirit of the 29-year-old Baguio City native.
“Competing is part of my system. I thrive on challenges because it helps me in my growth as a martial artist. Staying active in the sport is not a burden. In fact, I see it as a blessing,” Eustaquio explained
ONE Championship’s flyweight division has been often described as a shark tank as it houses phenomenal athletes such as Moraes, Kairat Akhmetov, Reece McLaren and Eustaquio’s teammate Danny Kingad, to name a few.
To prove his worth as the one true ruler of the promotion’s stacked flyweight bracket, Eustaquio is more than willing to give any combatant in the 61.2-kilogram weight class a chance to vie for his intricately-crafted hardware.
“There are a lot of great athletes in our division, and I’m willing to fight them anytime, anywhere,” he quipped.
“I can’t wait to defend my title against anyone in the ONE Championship locker room. If they want a title shot, I am right here. Being the champion didn’t change my challenger’s mindset. I’m still hungry to learn and achieve more.”
Even though he comfortably sits on his throne as the lionized champion, Eustaquio does not mind putting his coveted ONE flyweight world title on the line against a worthy contender outside his home turf.
“I don’t see it as a problem. Anytime, anywhere, I will be there to defend my world title. I am not bothered whatsoever. It’s a tough task, but I have to step up and prove that I am a fighting champion. It’s not all the time that I will have the luxury to fight in my own comfort zone,” he stated.
Owning a professional record of 11-6, Eustaquio has a good standing in overseas matches, winning five of his seven out-of-the-country bouts.
“I love to perform in front of the hometown crowd, but if there is an opportunity to defend my title outside the country, it won’t be a problem,” he disclosed.
“It doesn’t really feel competing outside the Philippines when I’m fighting abroad because Filipino fans always attend our events. When they cheer, they do it as loud as possible. It gives me an extra drive to do my best,” Eustaquio expounded further.
Eustaquio admitted that he is a firm believer of the old combat sports adage, “You’re not the champion until you defend the belt.”
“After winning the belt earlier this year and unifying it a few months later, I’m already looking forward to the day that I’m going to defend it as the official champion. If you’re the champion, it’s true that you have a large target on your back. But I see it the other way around,” he stressed.
“If they want a shot at my belt, go ahead. Challenges are important in this sport because it gives you experiences, makes you learn, and helps you to become a wiser and stronger martial artist,” Eustaquio continued.
Four months after his scintillating triumph over Moraes, Eustaquio is now in deep training at the famed Team Lakay gym in Baguio City, sharpening his tools while waiting for the details of his first bout as the undisputed ONE flyweight world champion.
“Being the champion is a dream come true,” he concluded. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my title for a long time. I’ll face all the challenges ahead of me even if it requires me to defend my belt away from home.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/23/2018