Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad doesn’t want his fight against Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan to go the distance in ONE Championship next month.
Kingad, the No. 2 flyweight contender, remains firm with the resolve to finish the Kazakh fighter within the first two rounds when they lock horns in the Circle in ONE: Big Bang at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on December 4.
“I don’t know how the fight will go. We’ll know once we’re in there. But I’m definitely going for the finish,” said Kingad. “I think this won’t last two rounds. It will end with a second-round knockout.”
But the Team Lakay stalwart is not about to underestimate the No. 3 Akhmetov, who rides on a two-match win streak after beating China’s Haobin Ma and Filipino-Australian Reese McLaren.
The 25-year-old Kingad knew well that Akmetov is at its best in wrestling, having been a three-time National Greco-Roman Champion in Kazakhstan and also a regional taekwondo champion.
That said, the Igorot warrior would rely on his speedy and heavy wushu striking techniques against the Kazakh wrestler, who holds a 23-2 record.
“I’ve wanted to face him for a long time because I want to test my skills against him, particularly in wrestling. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be a fun fight,” said Kingad, who is also in the winning column after beating Chinese foe Wei Xie last January in ONE: Fire & Fury at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City to improve his win-loss record to 14-2.
The two top-ranked flyweights were supposed to meet in the semifinal round of the ONE World Flyweight Grand Prix last year in August, but Akmetov suffered an injury that prompted him to drop out of the fight.
Kingad emerged victorious against McLaren, Akmetov’s replacement, via split decision but lost to current No. 1 flyweight and former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson in the finals by way of unanimous decision, snapping the Filipino’s 6-0 streak.
A win against Akmetov may pit Kingad anew to Johnson or a world title shot against Brazilian Adriano Moraes.