ONE: Global Superheroes was a night of stoppages with eight of the ten bouts finishing inside the distance. However, the main event did go the full five rounds with Geje Eustaquio grinding out a decision win over Kairat Akhmetov. The two flyweights met for the second time in a match as the MOA Arena in Manila that had the interim title on the line. In the opening round, Eustaquio landed several low kicks and was able to use a heel hook attempt to escape and reverse position after being taken down. By round two, it was clear that Eustaquio had the edge in striking terms, as he peppered Akhmetov with kicks and punches. The Kazakh never looked hurt, but was unable to mount any serious offense of his own. In the third and fourth rounds, Akhmetov attempted to get the fight to the ground, but by this stage Eustaquio was looking very comfortable. He twice countered takedowns with guillotine attempts which stalled his opponent, even if neither of them looked close to causing a tap. Akhmetov landed a left hand at the start of the fifth and followed with a head kick attempt. He needed something dramatic to turn the fight around and tagged Eustaquio with a hard shot and followed with a takedown, but the bell sounded before he could capitalize. Both men had their hand raised at the end, but there was no surprise when all three judges voted in favor of Eustaquio. He improves to 10-6 and will presumably rematch regular champion Adriano Moraes next, while Akhmetov drops to 24-2.
After a thrilling 5-round battle, we have a NEW ONE interim Flyweight World Champion, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio! #GlobalSuperheroes #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/xufTVX6kz2 — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 26, 2018
In the co-main event, strawweight Joshua Pacio (11-2) made short work of Chinese replacement Ming Qian Lang (1-2). The Team Lakay fighter took his Chinese opponent down early in the fight and subjected him to a ground-and-pound barrage before finishing the fight with a rear-naked choke. The only disappointment for the Filipino fans was seeing Eric Kelly (12-5) suffer a fourth straight loss. The featherweight succumbed to Brazilian Rafael Nunes (11-1), who locked in a second-round D'Arce choke for his first win in five years.
Rafael Nunes pulls off an incredible performance, submitting “The Natural” in the 2nd! What a comeback! #GlobalSuperheroes #Manila #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/2fT1SaTkwt — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 26, 2018
ONE: Global Superheroes Official Results
ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship bout: Geje Eustaquio defeats Kairat Akhmetov by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds Strawweight bout: Joshua Pacio defeats Lan Ming Qiang by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:01 minutes of round 1 Featherweight bou…