ONE champ Geje Eustaquio

Eustaquio edges Moraes in rollicking rematch | Jingnan bullies Balin at ONE Championship: Pinnacle of Power

Beijing, China – Geje Eustaquio had to let it all hang out to get even with Adriano Moraes.

After five frenetic rounds rife with leather exchanges, scrambles and submission attempts, Eustaquio avenged a four-year-old submission loss to Moraes with a razor-close split decision victory that unified the ONE Championship flyweight throne in Macau on Saturday. The 29-year-old had outpointed Kairat Akhmetov in an interim title bout this past January to earn the rematch, and brought the undisputed crown back to the Philippines by outlanding Moraes, surviving a bevy of submission attempts and scoring a handful of takedowns.

The pair staged a rather tentative duel to open what soon turned into a rollicking contest. Eustaquio was staving off a guillotine attempt from the crafty Moraes as soon as he took the action to the mat in Round 1, and had to elbow his way out of an armbar as soon as he’d popped his head free to see a second stanza.

Eustaquio found his groove on the feet shortly following the submission scares, but ended Round 2 with a human backpack in Moraes looking for a rear-naked choke. The interim champ’s mitts found their home with increasing ease as the contest wore on, but Moraes’ takedown attempts bore fruit with minimal resistance as well, with Eustaquio repeatedly thwarting the Brazilian’s efforts to improve position and put the squeeze on him. The flyweights combined for a grappling extravaganza in the fifth and final frame, with Moraes slapping on arm-in guillotines and rolling for leglocks while Eustaquio regaled those in attendance with a stunning slam and some slick transitional grappling.

When the scorecards were read, two of three judges deemed Eustaquio’s striking and countergrappling enough to give him the bump from interim to undisputed champ. In addition to ending Moraes’ second reign as ONE champ, the split call snapped his four-fight win streak.

In the co-headliner, strawweight queen Xiong Jingnan did her fellow Chinese natives proud with a dominant five-round showing at challenger Laura Balin’s expense to claim a lopsided verdict and defend the crown she’d won with a late stoppage of Tiffany Teo at the top of the year. When she wasn’t finding a home for her often unanswered haymakers, Jingnan was dragging Balin to the mat and either uncorking ground-and-pound on her helpless foe or looking for an arm to take home. The debuting challenger had few answers for the champ on the ground and fewer on the feet, the decision snapping a four-fight stoppage streak built on the Argentine circuit.

A pair of lighter-weight fighters set their sights on two-division titleholder Martin Nguyen prior to Saturday’s pair of championship bouts, as featherweight Kai Wen Li challenged the champ-champ after flatlining Rodian Menchavez with a hellacious right hand in just 10 seconds, with ex-lightweight contender Ev Ting doing the same on the strength of his unanimous decision victory over Koji Ando.

Nguyen, however, has other business to attend to, as he’s currently scheduled to chase a third strap in an interim bantamweight title fight opposite Kevin Bellingon on July 27 in Manila.

See the full results from Saturday’s action below:

Flyweight Championship Unification Bout: Geje Eustaquio (11-6) def. Adriano Moraes (17-3) via split decision
Women’s Strawweight Championship Bout
: Xiong Jingnan (12-1) def. Laura Balin (10-3) via unanimous decision
Lightweight Bout: Ev Ting (16-4) def. Koji Ando (12-7-2) via unanimous decision
Featherweight Bout: Narantungalag Jadambaa (13-5) def. Edward Kelly (10-5) via TKO at 4:58 of Round 2
Featherweight Bout: Kai Wen Li (8-4) def. Rodian Menchavez (5-2) via KO at 0:10 of Round 1
Flyweight Bout: Danny Kingad (9-1) def. Haobin Ma (11-3) via unanimous decision
Featherweight Bout: Win Saroth (3-5) def. Mario Satya Wirawan (5-6) via TKO at 2:30 of Round 3

 

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