GEJE Eustaquio will have vengeance on his mind - and the One Championship interim flyweight title as his goal - when he once again squares off with Kairat Akhmetov in the main event of One: Global Superheroes set on January 26 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Eustaquio first met with Akhmetov last September in Jakarta in a match marred by shady officiating and a controversial split decision.
The Team Lakay standout seemed to have finished his Kazakh counterpart with a series of up-kicks in the first round, a move that is totally legal in the One rulebook.
A dazed Akhmetov looked to referee Yuji Shimada for help – surprisingly, the Japanese referee obliged, pausing the fight briefly to give Akhmetov the time to recover.
Instead of a knockout win, Eustaquio was neutralized by the Kazakh’s wrestling, resulting to a razor thin split decision victory.
The winner here will face get to face Brazilian champion Adriano Moraes for the unification of the One flyweight belt sometime this year.
Three more Filipinos are slated to fight in the card bannered by One strawweight title contender Joshua Pacio – and brothers, Eric and Edward Kelly.
Pacio is slated to take on rising Thai star Pngsiri Mitsatit in a battle between two of the most promising fighters in the organization.
Coming off an impressive knockout win over fellow Filipino Roy Doliguez in the undercard of the Eduard Folayang-Martin Nguyen title match last November, the 22-year-old Pacio knows that a convincing win here could catapult him back to the title picture.
He’ll have his hands full, though, against the 21-year-old Mitsatit who overwhelmed Filipinos Rabin Catalan and Jeremy Miado with his impressive striking in his previous two fights.
Eric Kelly, on the other hand, takes on Rafael Nunes of Brazil while his brother Edward will face off with undefeated Cambodian prospect Meas Meul.