Danny “The King” Kingad was recently thrown a curveball.
Now, Kingad will square off against Pancrase Flyweight World Champion Senzo Ikeda in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix quarter-final bout at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Although event night is only two weeks away, Kingad is not daunted by the sudden change in opponents.
“I am ready for whoever ONE Championship puts in front of me,” the 23-year-old Baguio City native states.
“I have trained hard and prepared well for the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, so I am confident that I can take on anyone in the tournament who stands in my way.”
This is arguably a more challenging assignment for “The King.”
He brings a 12-6-1 professional record into the contest, as well as veteran experience and a title-winning mindset.
The 36-year-old Japanese athlete captured the Pancrase Flyweight World Championship by defeating his old rival, Mamoru Yamaguchi, via unanimous decision in August 2017.
Building on his success, he defended the gold against Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsuseven months later. It was a thrilling, competitive encounter, which ultimately saw Ikeda finish his challenger halfway into the fifth round.
Despite that, and the fact Ikeda will be supported by a hometown crowd, the Team Lakay product is confident he will tear through the Pancrase Flyweight World Champion and anyone else who stands in his path to the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Title.
“Senzo Ikeda is a talented competitor, and he has a lot of momentum behind him with four straight wins,” the Filipino says.
“But I have faith in my capabilities and my skills. I believe that I can put an end to that winning streak.
“My goal is to win this tournament. To do that, I will need to show my best in all of the matches, starting with this first one against Ikeda.”