The main event for ONE Championship: Global Superheroes is set, as Geje Eustaquio and Kairat Akhmetov will square off for a second time with the interim flyweight title on the line.
Set for January 26 from Manila, the card will go down inside the Mall of Asia Arena.
Back in September, it was Akhmetov claiming a split decision over Eustaquio.
Akhmetov (24-1) is a former champion, having suffered his only career loss at the hands of ONE champion Adriano Moraes. He claimed his title with a victory over Moraes in 2015.
“I was surprised,” Akhmetov said. “Of course, I would prefer not to compete against Geje in his hometown. I felt an advantage when I was competing at home before. But it does not intimidate me. I am ready for everyone that will cheer against me. I am coming with the mentality that it will be me versus the world, and I am ready for it.
“It was hard to prepare for Geje back then, because it was on shorter notice that I was used to, and I had some little injuries coming off the title match. But during the match, it did not affect me, and I did not feel any cage rust like I did against Adriano. That time, it was hard, both physically and mentally.”
Eustaquio says the first meeting between the two fighters was a “learning experience” for him.
“I knew going into the match that it would be one of the biggest challenges of my career, given that he is a former world champion,” he said. “Honestly, I was a little flustered. I thought I could have pushed the pace more, and maybe forced him to defend my strikes.
“I lost focus of the game plan, and allowed myself to operate at Akhmetov’s pace instead of dictating the action on the feet. I also could have had better takedown defense. I would have loved to have won, but it is what it is.”
Below is the rest of the fight card:
Kairat Akhmetov vs. Geje Eustaquio for the ONE interim flyweight title
Pongsiri Mitsatit vs. Joshua Pacio
Eric Kelly vs. Rafael Nunes
Ma Hao Bin vs. Sotir Kichukov
Yago Bryan vs. Hayato Suzuki
Bruno Pucci vs. Emilio Urrutia
Edward Kelly vs. Meas Meu
Rajinder Singh Meena vs. Zehao Zhang