FILE – Team Lakay’s Geje Eustaquio during his fight against Yuya Wakamatsu in ONE: Dawn of Heroes. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines—Despite having a topsy-turvy 2019, Geje Eustaquio managed to end the year with sweet redemption after knocking out Toni Tauru.

It took three years before Eustaquio had his comeuppance against Tauru, which proved to be the culmination of his hard work.

“I was overwhelmed because my 2019 was up and down, [so I felt] very good that I closed 2019 with a knockout,” said Eustaquio in ONE’s official website.

“I can still remember my jiu-jitsu was not very good [when I first fought Tauru]. But as time went on, as we always say in the gym, ‘We improve every day, as much as possible.’ There was a lot of development every day I was training, so I’m very happy I had gotten my revenge.”

The win over Tauru solidified Eustaquio (13-8) as “The Rematch King” as he also won his second bouts against Moraes and and Kairat Akhmetov.

Eustaquio’s win over Akhmetov also earned him the interim flyweight title before he became the undisputed champion when he beat Moraes.

These successful rematches thus fueled Eustaquio’s desire to have another go-around with Yuya Wakamatsu, who beat him prior to his rematch with Tauru.

Eustaquio’s reason for facing Wakamatsu is a simple one too.

“He is the only guy who knocked me out, and I think I can also knock him out,” said Eustaquio.

Wakamatsu, the No. 4 contender in the flyweight division, sent Eustaquio crashing with a right cross just two minutes into the fight for the first knockout loss in the Team Lakay stalwart’s career.

“The fighting style of Yuya is like, ‘Wait for the knockout, wait for the knockout.’ It’s that kind of stuff,” said Eustaquio. “Maybe, if we’re going to compete again, I will push him, I will give the pace, and we’ll see who can get the knockout.”

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