MMA: Kingad should strike down Akhmetov's confidence, says Eustaquio

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2021 10:00 PM

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If there's one man from Team Lakay who knows much about Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov, it's former ONE flyweight champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio. 

As the Almaty-based fighter is bound to take on #2-ranked Danny "The King" Kingad in the previously-recorded ONE: Winter Warriors II this Friday, the wushu expert likes his teammate's chances. 

"I believe Danny's main advantage here is his athleticism. I think that's where Danny will really move ahead," Eustaquio said. 

"Aside from being younger and fresher, his strength and power are his advantages over Akhmetov." 

"Gravity" knows what he's talking about after sharing eight hard-fought rounds with the #4-ranked flyweight. The former teacher lost the first bout but stayed true to his nickname as the "Rematch King" after defeating the Tiger Muay Thai representative for the interim ONE Flyweight World Title five months later. 

While the 32-year-old mixed martial artist likes Kingad's chances, he reminds the Philippine national wushu champion to keep his guard up against his crafty opponent, particularly when the athlete from Alarn Muay Thai Pro begins getting comfortable. 

After all, Akhmetov's wrestling and his ever-evolving striking could pose problems for any challenger. 

"One thing that Akhmetov has is his confidence. Having faced him twice already, he has a different kind of confidence when he steps into the Circle, and I think that's one advantage of his," Eustaquio explained. 

"When he's composed, he can really execute and get things his way. That's what I noticed, particularly in our first fight," he added. "Danny shouldn't allow Akhmetov to gain confidence in this match. He should avoid letting that guy dictate and control the pace of the action." 

Despite pointing out Akhmetov's strong points, the former champion with a Master's Degree in Physical Education is confident that Kingad's improvement over the years will be enough to hurdle Akhmetov when they finally meet after a two-year wait.

"Danny has certainly been improving, and his biggest improvement came in terms of physique and skills. I believe he's added a lot of things in his arsenal, and because of that, he's more confident to execute game plans now," the fighter with a 14-8 mixed martial arts record said.

"I believe this is going to be a war. They will stand toe-to-toe in striking and on the ground. I'm taking Danny by unanimous decision." 

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