Geje Eustaquio expects ‘younger, fresher’ Kingad to hurdle Akhmetov

Published December 14, 2021, 5:40 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio (ONE Championship)

Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is confident of teammate Danny “The King” Kingad‘s chances during the latter’s return to the ONE Championship Circle.  

The No. 2-ranked flyweight will face the No. 4-ranked Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov in a crucial three-round mixed martial arts tussle set at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II, which airs this Friday, December 17, from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.  

Kingad’s youth and vigor will be his main advantage entering this bout, per the former teacher. 

“I believe Danny’s main advantage here is his athleticism. I think that’s where Danny will really move ahead,” the fighter with a 14-8 MMA record said.  

“Aside from being younger and fresher, his strength and power are his advantages over Akhmetov.” 

The charismatic 32-year-old knows both men well, as he trains with Kingad at the Team Lakay gym in Baguio and previously fought Akhmetov in two hotly-contested bouts. 

Eustaquio lost his first encounter with the wrestling specialist in 2017 via a split decision after three rounds. He bounced back four months later, defeating the Almaty-based competitor in five grueling chapters to win the interim ONE Flyweight World Title at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES.  

However, “Gravity” can sense trouble if Kingad’s 34-year-old opponent finds his rhythm. That’s why the University of the Cordilleras alumnus constantly reminds his teammate to prohibit the Tiger Muay Thai representative from getting comfortable as the faceoff progresses. 

“One thing that Akhmetov has is his confidence. Having faced him twice already, he has a different kind of confidence when he steps into the Circle, and I think that’s one advantage of his,” Eustaquio explained.  

“When he’s composed, he can really execute and get things his way. That’s what I noticed particularly in our first fight,” he added. “Danny shouldn’t allow Akhmetov to gain confidence in this match. He should avoid letting that guy dictate and control the pace of the action.” 

With that in mind, the former world champion with a Master’s Degree in Physical Education still believes that his teammate will emerge victorious against the wrestling master, mainly because of how “The King” has elevated his craft since his debut five years ago.  

“Danny has certainly been improving, and his biggest improvement came in terms of physique and skills. I believe he’s added a lot of things in his arsenal, and because of that, he’s more confident to execute game plans now,” Eustaquio said.  

“I believe this is going to be a war. They will stand toe-to-toe in striking and on the ground. I’m taking Danny by unanimous decision.”  

Catch the main card of ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II on One Sports or One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT) on Friday, 17 December. The entire event stream will be available on ONE’s YouTube channel and the ONE Super App beginning with the lead card at 7:30 p.m. 

Read More From ONE Championship:  

Eersel Defends Gold Again Despite Tough Challenge From Murtazaev  

Stamp Fairtex Submits Ritu Phogat, Wins Atomweight World Grand Prix  

Dagi Arslanaliev Relives Glory With Third-Round TKO of Nastyukhin 

 
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