ONE Championship has just announced its return to the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, 26 January. ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES is set to showcase the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. In the main event, Team Lakay's Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio will take on Kairat Akhmetov for the interim ONE Flyweight World Championship.
Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: "This is the first in four blockbuster events in Manila in 2018, and ONE Championship is looking to kick things off with a spectacular show.
"Fans of martial arts in the Philippines are among the most passionate in the world, and it is our honor to present the best in local and global martial arts talent.
"The Mall of Asia Arena will be pulsating with excitement as hometown hero Geje Eustaquio takes on Kairat Akhmetov in a highly-anticipated main event rematch. This time, it's for the interim ONE Flyweight World Championship."
Top flyweight contender and former world title challenger Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio of Baguio City, Philippines, is one of the most skilled martial artists in Asia, and a highly-decorated wushu practitioner. His solid striking and grappling skill set has led to huge victories over the course of a seven-year professional career.
"Training in the high altitudes of the Philippines' Summer capital, Eustaquio hones his craft alongside world-class teammates at the fabled Team Lakay. Known for his incredible ability to keep calm in the face of adversity, Eustaquio is set to headline ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES opposite former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov."
Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov is a veteran martial artist from Almaty, Kazakhstan. The 30-year-old boasts a solid 24-1 professional record amassed during a stellar martial arts career which has seen him dominate his opponents with tenacious wrestling and powerful striking. In his most recent appearance inside the ONE Championship cage, Akhmetov defeated Geje Eustaquio via closely-contested three-round split decision. Now he faces Eustaquio in a rematch, this time for the interim ONE Flyweight World Championship.
22-year-old Joshua Pacio of Baguio City is one of the fastest rising martial arts stars from the Philippines. He is one of the promotion's most talented strawweights and a proud member of the famed Team Lakay. Pacio is a wushu practitioner with a solid grappling repertoire. All but one of his 10 career victories have come byspectacular finish, which includes five wins by submission and four by devastating knockout. In his most recent bout, Pacio knocked out veteran Roy Doliguez with a second-round spinning back fist. A former ONE Strawweight World Championship Title Challenger, Pacio is looking to bring himself back to title contention with another victory. A tough task is ahead of Pacio, however, as he is slated to lock horns with Pongsiri Mitsatit.
21-year-old Pongsiri "The Smiling Assassin" Mitsatit is an undefeated martial artist from Chiang Mai, Thailand, and was previously a North Thailand Muay Thai champion with a 72-17 record, which included 49 KOs. Since making his professional debut in the cage, the strawweight has amassed an unblemished record of 9-0 with seven knockout triumphs and one submission victory, and made an immediate impact in ONE Championship with first-round finishes over Ye Thway Ne and Rabin Catalan. In his next outing, Mitsatit will share the ONE Championship cage with Joshua Pacio of the Philippines in a three-round strawweight contest.
Featherweight standout Eric "The Natural" Kelly of Baguio City is widely considered one of the best homegrown martial arts athletes to come out of the Philippines. The wushu practitioner combines solid striking techniques with high-level grappling skills, which has resulted in nine impressive submissions and one knockout out of 12 total victories. Kelly's most impressive showing to date came in a submission win over Rob Lisita in 2014, a performance which earned him the US$50,000 ONE Warrior Bonus. In his next bout, Kelly will face Rafael Nunes.