KO COM­BOS

Con­trary to geje “grav­ity” eus­taquio nick­name there’s noth­ing that’ll keep him down

FHM (Philippines) - - CONTENTS - WORDS: RAUL MANINGAT; PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: JONATHAN BALDONADO

May­weather may want to read this too

With un­de­ni­able pas­sion, grit and of course, skill, Pi­noy mixed mar­tial artists, led by for­mer light­weight cham­pion Ed­uard Fo­layang and Bran­don Vera, have gained the ut­most re­spect of their peers and gen­uine ad­mi­ra­tion of fans in Asia's ONE Cham­pi­onship. But de­spite this achieve­ment, there's still more left for Filipino One ath­letes to ac­com­plish. Help­ing the lo­cal mar­tial arts com­mu­nity con­tinue its rise is one of Fo­layang's Team Lakay team­mates, Geje "Grav­ity" Eus­taquio. Just last Jan­uary, the Baguio na­tive did the coun­try proud by beat­ing Kazakh wrestler Kairat Akhme­tov to be­come One's In­terim Fly­weight World Cham­pion. Kind enough to ac­cept our in­vi­ta­tion, the 29-year old daz­zling Wushu striker took us through his jour­ney and shared use­ful life les­sons along the way.

How did you feel win­ning the in­terim belt on home soil? Win­ning the belt is an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment for me. All the hard work and ef­fort has paid off in God’s due time. But this vic­tory is not just mine, it is one that I share with my team, my fans, and my fam­ily. The belt is for all of us. I feel the best I have ever been and I am ex­cited to soon unify the belts and be­come the undis­puted cham­pion. Why do you think you didn't get the uni­fi­ca­tion fight against Adri­ano Mo­raes right away?

I think Adri­ano was not avail­able at the time and now he is in­jured. I hope for a speedy re­cov­ery for him. I re­spect Adri­ano as a man and as a mar­tial artist. He has honor and hu­mil­ity. One day we will unify the ti­tles and it will be a great fight.

Does your train­ing at el­e­va­tion in Baguio make your con­di­tion­ing bet­ter?

Yes the moun­tains are a very good place to train your car­dio. We run up­hill and down­hill and in dif­fer­ent ter­rain. It is very chal­leng­ing. Plus the cool weather is also very pleas­ant and Mother Na­ture gives us great train­ing. At Team Lakay, strength and con­di­tion­ing is very im­por­tant, so we al­ways make sure to train hard.

What im­prove­ments in your fight­ing style have you made as you go along?

Just con­trol­ling the ac­tion and fight­ing at my own pace. Be­ing able to dic­tate the pace is an im­por­tant part of ev­ery fight. But to do this, you have to be sharp and fo­cused. We do a lot of men­tal and spir­i­tual ac­tiv­i­ties aside from our usual mar­tial arts train­ing. This helps a lot in clear­ing the mind and main­tain­ing laser fo­cus. We found out that you are also ed­u­cated as a teacher. Do you think you would have pur­sued a teach­ing ca­reer if you hadn't gone into mar­tial arts?

I think no mat­ter what, I would have al­ways been a mar­tial artist. It is my true call­ing. I en­joyed be­ing a teacher and I loved to help out the chil­dren, but it wasn’t the life that I wanted. I wanted more than to just go to work ev­ery­day from nine to five. As a mar­tial artist, I am now fol­low­ing my pas­sion.

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