By Dan Paulo Errazo
Reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is scheduled to face former titleholder Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes in the main event of ONE: HERO’S ASCENT in Manila this 25 January. It’s the first defense of his undisputed World Title, and it couldn’t have come against a better opponent.
Ever since he took the belt away from Moraes last June, the Baguio City native had anticipated the rubber match, which was just recently announced. But there is another man who Eustaquio says he is keeping a close eye on, despite being deep in training for one of the biggest bouts in his career.
ONE Championship made headlines late last year when it announced that mixed martial arts pound-for-pound king Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson would be joining the organization.
Johnson was the only UFC flyweight champion who was able to successfully hold on to the title for five years before he had to turn it over to Henry Cejudo after a split-decision loss. He is one of the most dominant World Champions of all time and is arguably the best to ever step foot in the Octagon.
Eustaquio acknowledges Johnson’s skills and capabilities and says he is excited to witness Johnson’s debut.
“I am excited to witness Demetrious Johnson’s debut just like the rest of the world,” said Eustaquio.
“He is without a doubt one of the greatest, if not the greatest athlete to set foot inside the cage.”
ONE: A New Era is most likely the most highly-anticipated event by the organization with three World Titles on the line and the premier debut of Johnson with ONE, as well as lightweight Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez.
Johnson will be welcomed to ONE by Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu during the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. It’s a bout and a tournament that Eustaquio has vested interest in, given that he holds the title in the division.
“The Flyweight World Grand Prix will have the best martial artists in the world competing for a shot at my belt,” said Eustaquio.
“It is my job as a champion to watch their every move and study how they do inside the cage.”
Though the promotion has yet to reveal who the other six of the eight grand prix competitors are, the world’s largest martial arts organization guaranteed that it will keep the fires roaring until Eustquio’s title defense.
“The flyweight division is already stacked and talented as it is, the addition of Johnson takes this division to a whole new level,” Eustaquio concluded.
“Literally everybody in my division wants to become a champion and take this belt. I am just as hungry, if not hungrier, to keep what’s mine. I will do everything it takes to keep the belt in the Philippines.”