Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio wanted some redemption against a familiar foe. On Friday, 26 May, he got just that.
In a rematch from their bout two years again, the Team Lakay flyweight defeated a returning Anatpong “Mak” Bunrad via split decision at ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“It sounds ironic. Maybe two years from now, we will have a trilogy,” he offers with a smile. “It depends on the call of ONE Championship. My job is to fight, not to choose and not to decide [who to fight].”
When the referee kicked off the action, both Bunrad and Eustaquio had a slight feeling out process. Kicks were exchanged over the course of the first two minutes, but nothing significant was landed. As the first round progressed, it was very easy to tell that these two had mutual respect for each other and knew that both were dangerous in their respective games. Their talents were showcased, but the battle would be ensue in the later frames.
Round two was off to a faster pace, as both connected with punches and kicks. But “Gravity” had the slight edge with his footwork. He cleverly evaded his Thai opponent’s shots and landed some great strikes of his own midway through the bout. As the stanza progress, the Team Lakay product seemed to take control.
Bunrad attempted to swing the momentum in his favor in the third round. He took the center of the cage and pushed the pace in the early going. Eustaquio, however was a tad bit faster in the exchanges and connected when Bunrad was unable to. Strike after strike landed for “Gravity,” with “Mak” whiffing air on his shots. That did not stop him from coming forward though.
With just over one-minute left, the Filipino threw a kick, but his Thai nemesis was able to utilize that to take him down to the ground. The round ended with both men on the canvas, and their fate in the judges’ hands.
After a calculated performance, the judges ruled the bout in favor of Eustaquio with yet another split decision. “Gravity” is content with the win, but would have liked to been more decisive.
“I have a few regrets in the fight,” he admits. “It is so hard to execute the things I wanted to do. I have to get back on the mats and train some more.”
This split decision win throws an interesting twist in their historical feud, considering Bunrad won their last epic battle at ONE: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS back in 2015 very much the same way. Whether the trilogy happens or not is up to the matchmakers.
Meanwhile, Eustaquio bounces back in his flyweight campaign and stands tall at 9-5. As for “Mak,” he loses his return bout and drops to 5-3.