Geje “The Gravity” Eustaquio returns to ONE Fighting Championship at “Rise to Power” in his home country of the Philippines against Andrew Leone on 31 May. The bantamweight banger is out to prove that confidence in Team Lakay, hard training, and faith will pay off in gold.
Geje Eustaquio hails from the behemoth team Lakay in Baguio, Philippines and he’s been fighting professionally for just over two short years. The 4-1 bantamweight is one of the new breed of fighters establishing themselves in Asia by a steady climb over other peers. The Gravity’s fights have so far seen him rise above his compatriots and as such, ONE FC has paired him with another regionally-based stand out in grappler Andrew Leone. Geje has proved that he already has a well-rounded bag of skills by submitting and knocking out opponents, as well as implementing a gameplan to deal with tough opponents. This fight proves to be an exciting one. Eustaquio has been at altitude preparing for the biggest fight of his life on hometown turf. He spoke with MMA-in-Asia correspondent Kristi Barrientos about what that training has been like.
To start off, let’s talk a little about your background, what you did before entering MMA. What sports were you into?
I’m a guy who’s a big fan of sports. When I was young I played racket games. Chess. Sepak takraw. But martial arts gave me a deep focus. I can still remember when I was in high school, I boxed. Kickboxing. Muay Thai. Wrestling, and even one fight with taekwondo. Until I finally engaged in wushu were I spent more of my time until I graduated with my Bachelors degree.
In what aspect are you most comfortable fighting? On the ground or stand up?
I prefer stand up.
Yet you also have won by submission. What is your favourite strike or submission that you like to execute when you fight?
I like the triangle choke.
What are your preparations for your upcoming fight?
The preparation this time is different. The level is higher and smarter. There are hells and heaven during trainings but most of it is monster hell.
What are your ways to cut weight?
Losing weight is not a problem I guess because I believe that if you have the will to make weight you will do it.
So then what are the differences between your training before and now, for this fight?
As I said. Higher and smarter.
What are your thoughts about your opponent? If you could, would you say anything to him?
Andrew is a great guy and he has great will in fighting. I respect him inside and outside the cage. But I believe that all fighters want to be the champion.
Knowing that your opponent has a great ground game, what do you think you’ll have to do so he won’t implement it straight away?
I’ve also got ground game. That was tested before. If he wants to go down to the ground then let’s go. Team Lakay has Baguio jiu-jitsu we can rely on.
Who do you think has been your toughest opponent, who would you like to fight again and who would you think twice about fighting?
I fought great warriors and I lost once. The guy who beat me is the toughest guy I ever fought (David Cho). I would like to fight the Japanese flyweight contender (Shinichi Kojima). I guess Mighty Mouse (Demetrious Johnson) is the guy I’m not sure of. I guess I would want more exerience prior in facing this UFC champ.
Who is your role model in the MMA world, or your favourite MMA fighter?
Marquez Sangiao, for he is a machine. He’s my mentor. Internationally I like GSP for he is good with gameplans.
If you were to change one rule in MMA what would it be?
Rules are good for me, I guess
What can the fans expect from Geje “The Gravity” Eustaquio on 31 May?
I have placed all of my effort into this fight. I am training with the best camp in Asia. The number one camp in the Philippines. I train with champions and the best coach. Expect the best of me. This will be fight of the night.
Would you like to give credit to anyone else? What do you want to say to your fans and the people who are supporting you?
I thank God for the unending support. To ONE FC for the opportunity. My family and Mark Sangiao for being there always. My training camp Team Lakay. Sponsors who are one with us in our goals. MMA-in-ASIA for the interview. And all the Igorots who will invade Manila and together with all Filipinos that will cheer,shout and stomp as we once again conquer the world of MMA. I tell you this will be history! Don’t miss it.