Danny “The King” Kingad (10-1) has had a phenomenal run through ONE Championship’s flyweight ranks.
The Filipino is considered one of the best young talents in the promotion, and has just a single blemish on his otherwise spotless mixed martial arts record.
Up until now, Kingad was only competing to further his martial arts career, and reach his dreams of becoming the ONE Flyweight World Champion.
That changed recently, however, when he became a father.
On Tuesday, 14 August, Kingad welcomed his first child – a baby boy named Gleuordan Adriel – to the world at Saint Louis University Hospital in Baguio City, Philippines.
“I was very excited to see my baby boy. The anticipation was intense,” he recalls.
“When he came out, I was so happy. I can’t describe the feeling. There is nothing like it, and it was life-changing for me. Suddenly, everything was different.”
Becoming a dad has altered Kingad’s career objectives.
Now that he is responsible for another human being, “The King” is working harder than ever to achieve his goals. To provide for his family, the Filipino believes he has to become the best martial artist he can possibly be.
“One thing that instantly changed was my purpose,” he begins.
“All this time, I had been fighting for myself, but now, I am fighting for someone else. I am fighting for my little boy, and that, to me, is a greater purpose. I am responsible for him now, and I have to give it my all.”
The 22-year-old star is deep in his preparations, but the birth of baby Gleuordan has him understandably feeling more inspired this time around. Whenever he is not running around Baguio City, or practicing with his stablemates at Team Lakay, he is with his child.
“All my free time now is devoted to my son,” he continues.
“When I am not in training, I come to see him, and spend time with him. It gives me extra motivation to work harder. Now, I understand how fathers feel.
“I am working extra hard in training. I feel invigorated. It is like I was given extra strength and energy. I want to be a good father for my son, and a good provider. I want him to be proud of me when he grows up.”
Fortunately, “The King” has some great fatherly role models to look up to.
He is surrounded by a world-class team of brothers-in-arms at Team Lakay, many of whom are fathers themselves – including Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, and head coach Mark Sangiao. Their experience and advice is helping the youngster adapt to his new role.
Kingad’s coach, in particular, gave him some valuable words of wisdom.
“Coach Mark told me that now, especially, I need to have better focus on improving my skills. He told me that this is where my life changes – that it is not just me anymore, and that my son is a blessing,” he explains.
“It really hit home for me. I came to an instant realization that I have to work harder than I ever have before. My career now is more important than ever. I have to be the best that I can be, so I can give my son a good life.”
That is especially important to Kingad, who had a rough upbringing.
The flyweight contender does not want his son to experience the same thing. He plans to introduce him to martial arts at an early age to make sure he stays on the right path. He hopes it will impact Gleuordan’s life, just like it has his own.
“When I was growing up, I made a lot of mistakes. I went with the wrong crowd, and it nearly wasted my life,” he says.
“But martial arts turned that around for me, and saved me. I will definitely introduce martial arts to my son. If he chooses to follow in my footsteps, I will support him. I will have a little martial artist by my side.”
Jakarta | 22 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast