Danny “The King” Kingad (8-1) may have stumbled in his first opportunity to capture the ONE Flyweight World Championship last November, but now he is looking to rebuild some momentum, and get another shot at the flyweight crown.
The Baguio City, Philippines-based talent is scheduled to make his return on Friday, 9 March. He is slated to meet Malaysian contender Gianni Subba (9-2) at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY, which emanates from the Axiata Arena on his rival’s home turf of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
As the 22-year-old Filipino prepares for this momentous clash, let’s revisit three of his most captivating victories inside the ONE cage.
Steamrolling Muhammad Haidar
In April 2016, at ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS in Manila, Philippines, Kingad made his promotional debut. Standing across the cage from him was Muhamad Haidar, a tall, rangy martial artist riding a solid run on Malaysia’s amateur circuit.
Within a matter of minutes, “The King” proved he was more than ready for the bright lights of ONE Championship. From the opening bell, the visibly-focused Filipino warrior pressed forward and stalked his foe around the cage. After softening Haidar with a pair of leg kicks, the Filipino hero took the Malaysian for a ride with not one, but two massive double leg takedowns.
Kingad continued to apply nonstop pressure. He climbed into full mount, and poured on the ground and pound until referee Olivier Coste could watch no more. The contest was waved off at 2:20 of the opening stanza, giving Kingad a quick, but impressive first win inside the ONE cage.
Submitting Knockout Artist Eugene Toquero
For his second promotional bout later that December at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION, Kingad faced off against fellow countryman Eugene Toquero in Manila.
By this point, Toquero, a revered knockout artist, was a battle-tested veteran who shared the cage with top contenders the likes of Subba, Riku Shibuya, ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes, and even Kingad’s teammate, ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio.
The Team Lakay prodigy, however, demonstrated wisdom beyond his years, and he rose to the challenge despite his adversary’s wealth of experience.
After having a kick caught by Toquero early in the first round, Kingad used his momentum to flip him to the canvas. From there, “The King” displayed amazing poise, as he transitioned from position to position, constantly hunting for an opportunity to end the bout.
Kingad found that opportunity in the closing minute of the first round. He seamlessly flowed into position for an armbar, and he coaxed a desperate tap from Toquero at the 4:36 mark. Just like that, the Team Lakay flyweight earned his second victory in the organization.
Taming The “Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman
After posting a pair of consecutive victories under the ONE banner, Kingad had to combat the wild and unorthodox stylings of Bali MMA’s “Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, in front of a partisan crowd in Manila back in April 2017.
The Team Lakay stalwart had more than proven he could execute quick and efficient wins, but in this bout, he showed fans he was also capable of competing for three hard rounds.
In the first two rounds of this thrilling showdown, Kingad controlled the “Jungle Cat” with his impressive grappling skill, and softened him up from the top position with strikes to the head and body. The trend seemed to continue in the third and final round, as the hometown hero completed yet another takedown.
Then, without warning, he found himself in danger. Midway through the third frame, Aiman locked up a deep triangle choke, and peppered Kingad with stinging elbow strikes as he constricted. Though this briefly looked like it could spell disaster for “The King,” he kept his cool, and he eventually wiggled out of danger to spend the remainder of the frame dropping ground strikes.
Kingad was awarded the unanimous decision for his efforts. Now, nearly a year removed, he meets Aiman’s Bali MMA teammate, Subba, at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY.
Kuala Lumpur | 9 March | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onevisions18