Danny Kingad could not help but feel excited for his much-awaited bout against fellow ONE flyweight contender Kairat Akhmetov in ONE: Winter Warriors II next month at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Though not officially labeled as a world title eliminator, Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao believes that Kingad is just a win away from a championship match against reigning flyweight king Adriano Moraes.
Kingad, for his part, is taking it one step at a time and shifted his focus first on Akhmetov, the No. 4 flyweight contender.
“Ready na ready na ako diyan sa laro namin since noong last year pa noong ‘di kami naglaro and I’m excited for him kasi ayun nga, matutuloy na talaga ‘yong laro namin (I am more than ready for our match. I’ve been ready for a year now and I’m really excited that this will finally happen),” said Kingad, who sits at the No. 2 spot of the division.
Kingad and Akhmetov were supposed to clash last December but a cornerman from Team Lakay tested positive for COVID-19 which prompted ONE Championship to postpone the match.
The Kazakh warrior eventually won against Dae Hwan Kim of South Korea the same month to improve at 27-2 record.
With the fight being shelved for a year, the Team Lakay stalwart continued to improve his skills at the mountains of Cordillera and made sure to make a good strategy to counter Akhemetov’s wrestling prowess and improved striking.
“Iniisip ko na lang na I think hindi talaga pa sa akin ‘yong araw na ‘yon and sinasabi ko sa sarili ko na meron pa talaga akong mai-improve sa aking sarili (Back then, I just thought that it wasn’t my time and I had more time to improve myself),” added the 26-year-old Igoror warrior, who has 14 wins and two losses. “Ayun nga, isang taon na nag-training ako, in-improve ko palagi ‘yong mga weaknesses ko and nare-review ko ‘yong mga laro niya and I think if ever man na makakalaro kami, I’m ready for that (And that’s what happened, I trained for a year and improved my weaknesses. I also reviewed his matches and I think I’m ready for whatever he’s about to bring at the table).”
Should Kingad win, the Team Lakay fighter will either have a rematch against top-ranked Demetrious Johnson or a title bout with Moraes.
It would be recalled that Moraes already proved his worth in the throne after shocking the world with a historic knockout win against Johnson, a long-time former UFC flyweight champion.