ONE Fighting Championship’s inaugural mixed martial arts event in Cambodia, Rise of the Kindgdom, is just a week away and anticipation is building rapidly among local fight fans at the prospect of witnessing some of the best cage fighting action ever seen on home soil.
Headlining the international fight card is a mouth-watering bout between the top two contenders in the ONE FC flyweight division, Brazil’s Adriano Moraes and Geje Eustaquio of the Philippines, with the title belt to be claimed for the first time by the triumphant combatant.
Moraes (11-1) promised a “stand-up war” during an interview with the Post last month, and his opponent Eustaquio also guarantees a showcase of enthralling action.
“Cambodia is a cool country, so I am excited to fight there,” the 25-year-old Filipino told the Post.
“I know that Cambodians are so ready to cheer on every warrior showing their best inside the cage.”
Like many of his countrymen, Eustaquio came to MMA via the Chinese martial art wushu. He currently trains out of the fabled Team Lakay MMA stable in Baguio City, northern Luzon. He claims he is a complete fighter now, after adding solid ground skills to his impressive striking ability.
Out of the six victories registered in his eight-fight professional MMA career to date, Eustaquio took just one by way of knockout with two submissions and four decision wins. The past two of these occurred in the ONE FC cage, including the judges’ nod in his fight against Kentaro Watanabe of Japan on June 14. That result saw him granted a title shot against Moraes,
26, who is also riding a two-win streak at ONE FC, both of which were from submissions.
“His jiu jitsu is obviously good, so outsmarting him is the key,” Eustaquio said of his rival’s strengths.
But the Filipino has brains as well as brawn, holding a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and also now studying a master’s degree in physical education with a thesis on weight loss.
However, Eustaquio has put his academic pursuits on hold as he attempts to become the latest world champion at the Singapore-based organisation.
“I have suspended my thesis writing because this ONE FC belt demands a lot of time and preparation,” he said.
“I have devoted all of my time and effort into it, physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. So I feel that I am so ready for this fight.”
Tickets for Rise of the Kingdom are on sale now at CTN TV studio during the week and NagaWorld on the weekend, as well at as the indoor hall of Old Stadium on Sundays.
The entire card will be broadcast live on local channel MyTV, while English commentary footage will be available on Fox Sports.