Undefeated prospect Danny Kingad returns to action to face battle-tested veteran Eugene Toquero, in an all Filipino flyweight contest at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION. The action takes place on Friday Night, 2 December, at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Kingad, who is coming off a phenomenal promotional debut, plans to have a successful follow-up performance. This time around, however, he is looking to further utilize his mental attributes.
“My game plan for this fight is not just to use physical techniques, but also to use mind tactics,” the 21-year-old Team Lakay standout reveals. “This is MMA and anything may happen. We have our own skills to market, and for sure, this is going to be a very exciting fight.”
In Toquero, he fights a battle-tested countryman. The Manila native is a Muay Thai specialist who holds an 8-3 record, with seven of those victories coming by way of TKO. Most recently, the 35-year-old suffered a heartbreaking first-round submission loss to now-Interim ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes at ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS back in March, and a victory would go a long way to a potential rematch.
Kingad, however, has youth on his side and feels a victory will put him at the top of the heap.
“If I pick up the win over Toquero, I will be one step closer to being a contender for the ONE Flyweight belt.” Kingad says. “I am looking forward to it and I am ready.”
A graduate of the University of the Cordilleras, Kingad naturally made his name as a wushu specialist. He even won the 2015 Regional Wushu Championship. Still, the allure of mixed martial arts was too commanding and he put his focus into his training over the past few years.
From the moment he stepped into the cage for his amateur debut, he absolutely knew he was destined for this sport.
“I think my favorite fight from my MMA career is my first MMA amateur fight.” Kingad says. “That was the time that I realized that I really want to be in this field, and that I have to do everything to improve and reach my dream following the footsteps of my seniors in Team Lakay.”
Kingad is a member of the famed Team Lakay, the top fight team in the Philippines. Led by Coach Mark Sangiao, the gym is full of wushu warriors and feels more like a family than an actual team. The experience of working with so many great fighters in one room is vital. Counting those people as family is invaluable.
“For me, our team is not just a team, but a family in which everyone helps each other and learns together in MMA and other aspects of life. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life,” he explains. “I am so happy, lucky, and blessed that I have them in my everyday training.
“The gym right now is so busy preparing for our respective fights, and I can sense the determination and focus inside the gym. It makes me even more inspired and motivated.”
That determination shows, as it has carried over into his professional career. Kingad earned a pair of successful unanimous decisions in his first two bouts in 2014 and 2015, then signed with ONE and made a statement by delivering a first-round TKO to Malaysia’s Muhamad Haidar at ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS this past April.
Coming into this contest at a perfect 3-0, the Team Lakay flyweight feels the added pressure of keeping that unblemished record intact. That pressure can be felt every time he steps into the cage, but he is not happy with simply picking up the victory. He would much rather win in style. This intense determination plays into his game plan, mindset, and actions inside the cage.
“Being an undefeated fighter, maintaining my record, is one of the goals in preparation for my future,” he says. “I take it as a challenge in every fight not just to win, but to do the best that I can to win impressively.”
Kingad will have the chance to impress at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION and step closer to the top of the flyweight heap, but he will have to get past a tough veteran in Toquero to get there.