Anticipation has been steadily building among Cambodia’s burgeoning mixed martial arts fan base as to what match-up ONE Fighting Championship would announce for the headlining bout of its “Rise of the Kingdom” fight card on September 12 at Koh Pich Theater.
With an unprecedented four titles on the line at ONE FC: Reign of Champions at the Dubai World Trade Centre on August 29, the prospect of a belt being fought for just two weeks later in the Kingdom had appeared unlikely.
However, the Singapore-based MMA organisation broke the news today that Cambodia’s first ONE FC event would indeed feature a title bout – and a potentially epic one at that: between the unstoppable force of “Gravity” and the unbreakable nature of the “Black Diamond”.
“[ONE FC] has confirmed that flyweights Geje Eustaquio of the Philippines and Adriano Moraes of Brazil will battle for the inaugural ONE FC Flyweight World Championship,” according to a press release.
Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio (6-2) is a wushu champion who has utilised his lightning fast strikes to devastating effect against formidable foes.
The 25-year-old trains at the high-altitude camp of Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, alongside fellow Filipino cage-fighting stars Honorio Banario, Kevin Belingon and Eduard Folayang.
Eustaquio earned his title shot by defeating the tenacious Kentaro Watanabe (10-5) of Japan at ONE FC: Era of Champions in Jakarta on June 14.
In the main event of that card, Adriano “Black Diamond” Moraes (11-1) completed a successful triangle-arm choke to submit Japan’s Kosuke Suzuki (10-4-2) in the third round and book his berth in the battle for the belt.
Moraes, also 25, turned to Brazilian jiu-jitsu when he was 15 to re-channel his youthful energy away from street gang activities in his native Brasilia. He transitioned to MMA and made his professional debut when he was 21.
The Constrictor Team fighter also possesses extreme speed of strikes and, like his next opponent Eustaquio, goes into the Cambodian contest having won his last two bouts in the ONE FC cage.
The only loss of Moraes’s career came in a controversial split decision against Russian bantamweight Yusup Saadulev last November.
ONE FC CEO Victor Cui said today that the September 12 main event would help promise “a night of intense action and heart-thumping excitement”.
“ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom will feature a fight card that fans in Cambodia and the millions of fans watching around the world would not want to miss,” he added.
Other matches, including many featuring local prospects, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
ONE FC’s expansion into Cambodia had been made possible by a 10-event partnership deal with entertainment and business complex NagaWorld.
MyTV, which will broadcast live coverage of the action on the night, has been brought in as a media partner, while government sanctioning came via the Cambodian MMA Association. as its president Vath Chamroeun, who is also secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia.
NagaWorld events manager Yeo Wee Han told the Post earlier today that tickets would be available from July 28 – during weekdays at CTN TV station in Russey Keo district (along National Highway 5) and at weekend evenings at the indoor hall of the Old Stadium, during CTN’s local fight cards. Ticket prices have yet to be confirmed.