Wednesday, April 8, 2015

One: Valor of Champions Preview Anatpong Bunrad Vs. Geje Eustaquio

Wazzup Pilipinas!

For Geje Eustaquio, ONE: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS will be just the sort of homecoming that he needs to continue his climb up the ladder.

Eustaquio will take on Anatpong Bunrad in a key flyweight match on 24 April 2015 from the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines.

Along with the featured 125-pound attraction, Ben Askren defends his ONE Welterweight World Championship against Luis Santos and Mark Striegl faces Casey Suire in a bantamweight bout.

Regardless of the end result, Eustaquio’s 2014 ONE Flyweight World Championship fight with Adriano Moraes at ONE: RISE OF THE KINGDOM was only a positive. 

Even though he found himself caught by Moraes, who is widely-considered one of the best 125-pound fighters in the world, Eustaquio gave him everything he could handle for a round-plus. 

Before slipping up vs. Moraes, the 26-year-old Lakay MMA member had won two straight under the ONE banner, scoring decisions over Kentaro Watanabe and Eugene Toquero.

He dealt Toquero his first career loss in 2013 and also bested Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Alex Silva back in 2012 in only his fourth career MMA match. 

Eustaquio is a master in Wushsu-based striking and also has proven he can go the distance if need be. 

Bunrad made a name for himself in kickboxing, winning 16 of his 18 amateur fights. The 28-year-old from Thailand has found just as much success in the MMA world, going 4-1 with all four of his wins being finishes.

Fighting for the Phuket Top Team, Bunrad made his ONE debut last October, delivering a spectacular finish at ONE: ROAD OF TIGERS against Marc Marcellinus.

Since falling via a hard-fought decision to Farid el Said in 2012, he’s won by of his MMA fights via first round finish. 

Bunrad holds an impressive resume of skills, having achieved a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a black belt in a style of Karate called Shihaishinaki and holding his kickboxing pedigree. That’s why most feel he is the best 135-pounder to come out of Thailand, which has produced a bevy of standouts.

The move down to 125 pounds and the flyweight division will only make Bunrad even quicker. And if you think he’s only a striker, look back at his MMA debut in 2010 which was a first round submission victory with a heel hook vs. Denny Peters.

This will be an interesting fight for both men, as Eustaquio is coming off the loss to Moraes, while Bunrad would like nothing more than to earn that shot. A convincing performance for Eustaquio will keep him right in the talk for a rematch with the champion, but if the youngster Bunrad can pull off the upset, he might just catapult himself into that title-fight.

ONE: VALOR OF CHAMPIONS is happening on 24 April 24 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. Tickets are available now here. Global fans can catch the event ‘live’ at

Contributed by Dana Becker

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