GEJE Eustaquio outclassed Gianni Subba of Malaysia via unanimous decision in their bantamweight bout, the co-main event of the ONE Global Rivals card on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 27-year-old Team Lakay fighter put on a methodical performance, beating up his Malaysian foe with calculated hits despite having a height and reach disadvantage to put away his eighth victory in 12 bouts.
Eustaquio said the win was special as he battled through injuries weeks before the fight.
“I came here with an injury in my left and right shoulder. It’s just that my prayers are better than my performance,” said Eustaquio.
The Baguio native also honored his roots before the bout, with Igorot dancers putting on a performance to herals his entrance to the cage.
In the main event, ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren of the US won via unanimous decision victory over Nikolay Aleksakhin, taking advantage of his wrestling skills to contain the Russian throughout.
"I was very much in control of the first two rounds. I landed a lot of hard strikes, elbows, and knees and he took everything and he kept fighting,” said Askren.
The fight was actually supposed to be a defense of Askren’s ONE welterweight crown but Aleksakhin came into the fight overweight. Due to the development, Askren said he will donate his winnings in the fight to charity.
Eustaquio’s victory highlighted Team Lakay’s strong performance that saw four other fighters triumph.
Honorio Banario won over Vaughn Donayre of Pride Fitness Center via unanimous decision in his first fight in the lightweight division, while Joshua Pacio of the Philippines stopped compatriot Rabin Catalan at three minutes and 19 seconds in the second round of their strawweight match
Flyweight Danny Kingad beat Malaysia’s Muhamad Haidar via technical knockout in the first round while April Osenio downed compatriot Natalie Gonzales Hills via stoppage via armbar at three minutes and 23 seconds in the first round in the lone women’s bout.
In other bouts, Sunoto of Indonesia won over Filipino fighter Burn Soriano at three minutes and 50 seconds in the first round.
Martin Nguyen defeated Li Kai Wen after four minutes and 44 seconds in the first round, as Reece McLaren of Australia got the nod of all the three judges as he won via unanimous decision over Muin Gafurov of Tajikistan.