Adriano Moraes Reclaims Flyweight Title at ONE: Hero’s Ascent

January 25, 2019

Adriano Moraes and Geje Eustaquio fought for the third time at ONE: Hero’s Ascent in Manila on Friday. This time it was the Brazilian who prevailed to reclaim the flyweight title he has won and lost on two previous occasions.

Next up for Moraes will be the winner of the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix, which could well turn out to be former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson. The Brazilian’s three career losses have all come by way of split decision and he must have been relieved not to be on the receiving end of a similar outcome here.

Eustaquio, by contrast, can consider himself unfortunate. He was clearly ahead after three rounds having landed the more telling strikes and scored with up-kicks and elbows on the one occasion that Moraes did managed to take him down.

However, the fourth round clearly settled the fight as Moraes timed a punch, ducked under, and took Eustaquio’s back. Instead of a rear naked choke, the BJJ black belt opted for something a little unconventional and trapped the Filipino in a painful looking ‘Suloev Stretch.’

Eustaquio was virtually doing the splits, but he has tremendous flexibility and looked fairly comfortable. He repeatedly gave the thumbs up to the referee and wasn’t close to being submitted. There was some suggestion that the Filipino’s leg might have sustained some damage, but he looked light on his feet at the start of the fifth.

The final round began with Eustaquio showcasing his striking superiority, clipping Moraes with a right hand. Moraes again timed a punch and scored a takedown, but wasn’t able to capitalize with any significant strikes or submission attempts.

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In fact, Eustaquio was the busier fighter, scoring from his back with gentle punches to the body. As the bell sounded to finish the fight, both men had their arm raised and another split decision looked like it might be in the cards.

However, the three judges all saw this fight the same way, unlike the last time these two men met. The unanimous decision win improves the Brazilian’s record to 18-3, while Eustaquio drops to 11-7 and becomes the second Team Lakay fighter to controversially lose a ONE Championship title this year.

His teammate Honorio Banario didn’t fare much better. The former featherweight champion was taken down and beaten up by Lowen Tynanes with the finish coming at the 4:46 mark with the Hawaiian back to his best after three years away from competitive action.

Tynanes improves to 10-0 and progresses to the next round of the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix, where either Eddie Alvarez or Timofey Nastukhin awaits. Banario drops to 14-8 and is the first fighter to be eliminated from the tournament.

There will be at least one Team Lakay fighter in the Flyweight Grand Prix. Danny Kingad (11-1) beat Tasumitsu Wada (20-10-2) by decision after a back-and-forth battle which could easily have gone either way, but all three judges opted for the Filipino.

ONE: Hero’s Ascent Full Results

  • Adriano Moraes defeats Geje Eustaquio via unanimous decision to reclaim the ONE Flyweight World Championship
  • Lowen Tynanes defeats Honorio Banario via TKO at 4:46 of round one (ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix quarter-final)
  • Danny Kingad defeats Tatsumitsu Wada via unanimous decision (Mixed Martial Arts – Flyweight)
  • Rodtang Jitmuangnon defeats Fahdi Khaled via unanimous decision (ONE Super Series Muay Thai – Flyweight)
  • Reinier De Ridder submits Fan Rong via D’arce choke at 1:51 of round one (Mixed Martial Arts — Middleweight)
  • Hiroki Akimoto defeats Josh Tonna via unanimous decision (ONE Super Series Kickboxing – Flyweight)
  • Bangpleenoi Petchyindee Academy defeats Brown Pinas via unanimous decision (ONE Super Series Muay Thai — Featherweight)
  • Elias Mahmoudi defeats Yukinori Ogasawara via unanimous decision (ONE Super Series Muay Thai — Flyweight)
  • Tang Kai defeats Sung Jong Lee via knockout at 1:14 of round two (Mixed Martial Arts – Featherweight)
  • Hiroaki Suzuki defeats Mohammed Bin Mahmoud via TKO at 2:53 of round three (ONE Super Series Muay Thai – Bantamweight)
  • Himanshu Kaushik defeats Egi Rozten via knockout at 3:33 of round one (Mixed Martial Arts – Strawweight)