Charismatic flyweight standout from Manila, Philippines, Eugene Toquero (8-2-0) has won three of his last four bouts with ONE Championship, but he takes on his biggest challenge yet against former flyweight world champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes (13-2-0) of Brazil tomorrow night, Friday, 18 March at the Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
The two are scheduled to lock horns in a three round flyweight contest at ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS, which features returning hometown hero “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang in a main event bout against former Wushu Sanda world champion Mohamed Ali of Egypt.
Toquero, a flashy striker with an unorthodox and unpredictable fighting style, will put his toughness to the test against Moraes, who is still considered one of the best in his division despite losing his title to now reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion, Kairat Akhmetov.
Despite the challenge however, Toquero feels confident in victory and is thankful for the opportunity.
“Adriano Moraes is a good fighter. He’s a former champion and it’s an honor for me to fight him,” said Toquero, known for his high-speed pace.
“If I beat Adriano then there is no question that I am qualified to fight for the belt.”
Toquero has been one of the more consistent fighters to come out of the Philippines. He always comes to fight, is ultra aggressive and believes that his skills will always bring him victory. The Filipino flyweight is one of the best strikers in the game at this division, and will put Moraes’ Muay Thai skills to the test.
“I think that my Muay Thai is better than his,” said Toquero.
Moraes’ greatest strength however is not on the feet, but on the ground, where he spins a web for his opponents with his mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a black belt. Still, Toquero is unfazed by his foe’s lofty accomplishments, and believes if the fight does go to that mat, he’ll be ready.
“If Adriano tries to take me down it’s no problem. I have my Jiu-Jitsu to defend and attack him. If I have the chance I will choke him out,” said Toquero, confident of victory.
“This fight is going to be an exciting fight because I dedicate my fight to my fans. Every time I fight I’m not thinking about my opponent, I am thinking about how I can entertain my fans.”
If entertaining the audience in attendance is at the top of his priority list, then by all accounts, Toquero has been successful. Whether he wins or loses, Toquero never fails to get the crowd up off their feet and that’s something he takes great pride in.
But don’t mistake that for the lack of a desire to win. Toquero stresses that he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get the victory Friday night.
“Every fight I am always ready. This fight I am prepared. You should expect the unexpected,” said Toquero. “Adriano lost his last fight so he is going to come all out but I am always ready.”
Expect to see Toquero in his element as soon as he steps inside the cage. And once fans get a glimpse of Toquero doing what he does best – dancing circles around his opponent while occasionally flipping and ruffling through his hair – they’ll know it’s only a matter of time before the ‘entertainment’ begins.
“During a fight I like to fix my hair. I punch my opponent, then I fix my hair again. I do this for the fans to entertain them so everyone goes home with a smile,” said Toquero. “I think I have better hair than Moraes.” – By Carlos Cinco
Follow this writer on Twitter: @CarlosCincoFCB