Back to the drawing board for Danny Kingad after shutout loss to Kairat Akhmetov

Published December 22, 2021, 4:10 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Danny Kingad of Team Lakay (ONE Championship)

Danny “The King” Kingad’s return to the ONE Championship Circle didn’t unfold the way he envisioned it to be. 

The 25-year-old competitor was outclassed from the opening bell and dropped a unanimous decision loss to Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov in the main event of ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II which aired last December 17 from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.  

For Kingad – the division’s #2-ranked contender before the bout – there’s much work to be done, particularly in the wrestling department wherein the #4-ranked fighter from Almaty stamped his domination for the entire contest.  

Ever the optimist, “The King” focused on the positives after the defeat.  

“I felt like this setback is God’s way of telling me that I need to improve more before I get that world title shot,” the Philippine National Wushu Champion realized.  

“I know that I will learn from this loss, and I will be able to work on the things that I need to improve.”  

Coming into the contest, the fighting pride of Sadanga, Mountain Province, knew that Akhmetov’s wrestling mastery would be a serious concern. But even the Team Lakay mainstay was surprised with the grappling prowess that “The Kazakh” unleashed during the fight. 

Kingad tried to defend the takedowns but to no avail. Though he took another step back, he now knows the ground he must cover to catch up with the flyweight division’s top contenders. 

“I was surprised with how good of a wrestler he truly is inside the Circle. It’s like he was born a wrestler. Still, I’m happy that I got to meet him. I experienced how strong he was in wrestling, and I saw what I could work on moving forward,” the competitor with a 14-3 MMA record shared.  

“There are a lot of things for sure. I have to go home and review the game. Most likely, I’ll be focused on how to defend his wrestling and counter his takedowns.”  

His dream of becoming the ONE Flyweight World Champion lives on despite the loss. The journey to that goal may have taken another halt, but the Filipino competitor doesn’t mind returning to step one. 

“It’s back to the drawing board for me, back to the gym. It all boils down to training and staying prepared just so whoever I face next, I’ll be ready to take him on,” Kingad shared. 

“The goal is to return to winning ways, keep on winning, and get that world title shot.”  

Catch all the ONE Championship action by downloading the ONE Super App.  

Read More From ONE Championship:  

The Best Pictures From ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II  

Full Card Revealed For ONE: HEAVY HITTERS On 14 January  

Akhmetov Outwrestles Kingad To Win Battle Of Flyweight Contenders