NEW ONE Flyweight Champion Adriano Moraes could not believe that Geje Eustaquio did not tap out to his "Mikinho kneebar" in the final chapter to their trilogy at ONE: Hero's Ascent on Friday.
"Did you see that? I love that position. That's the Mikinho kneebar. When I do that position in training, everybody taps. And Geje didn't tap. He didn't tap, he's a true warrior," said the three-time division titlist after coming away with the unanimous decision victory in the main event.
Moraes caught Eustaquio's left leg in the fourth round and locked it behind the latter's head, but the Igorot warrior survived and even finished the fight after five hard-fought rounds.
It turns out, that submission hold was what impressed the judges the most as they sided with the Brazilian contender in the fight.
Still, Moraes did not discount the fight the Team Lakay bet showed, lauding Eustaquio for upping the ante every time they met.
"Geje is a true warrior. He's a tough man. We've had history and he's a friend. He's really tough. He always comes in with new power," he said.
"Today, we finished this history and I'm so glad to end it as the winner."
Moraes understands the displeasure of the fans inside the Mall of Asia Arena who felt that Eustaquio was the rightful winner of the fight.
But for him, there's no more doubt who is the best in the promotion's flyweight division.
"Nobody cheers for me here. A Brazilian boy coming to Asia and fighting a hometown guy, it's really tough. But today, I made history. I'm so proud of myself," he said.
"We did a good job. It was a really good fight, but I made more points, put more danger on his face. He did a good work, but he didn't win this fight like the last one, too. I came back and showed everybody I'm the best flyweight in this division. Now I'll have a new step, move forward. I know Geje will be back, but it's my time now."
Ending this epic rivalry on top, Moraes doesn't see himself meeting Eustaquio for the fourth time as he feels this rivalry is already behind him.
"I guess (fighting him for the) fourth time? Nobody wants to watch more of me here. Maybe (Geje and I), we want to play poker or snooker together. But to fight? I want to move past this and get to more new fights," he said.