On Sunday, 13 October in Tokyo, Japan, the Filipino superstar will take on Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Final
As most fans expected, the American icon made his way through the bracket with two wins, but the Team Lakay representative has arguably looked more impressive with a pair of energetic performances in show-stealing match-ups.
Kingad had to go the distance with Senzo Ikeda and Reece McLaren, but he showed the skillful striking, tenacious grappling, and ability to push the pace that could see him triumph at the biggest event in martial arts history.
Ahead of his encounter at the Ryogoku Kokugikan, “The King” revealed his emotions about the biggest bout of his career, and how he plans to get his hand raised.
ONE: How does it feel to be in the World Grand Prix Championship Final?
Danny Kingad: It’s the final, so the excitement is through the roof. I almost wish that the match will take place tomorrow already!
ONE: Do you feel that the odds are stacked against you to win this match against such a legend of the sport?
DK: Yes. However, ever since he came over to join ONE Championship, I knew that I would have to face him one day, so I’ve always trained hard to prepare for this day.
It doesn’t matter who the underdog or the favorite is, because I believe all of us athletes train well with the goal of winning.
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ONE: How have you altered your training to prepare for your most dangerous opponent?
DK: Compared to my previous matches, we’ve added more layers to our training regimen, as we’re looking to fill the holes in our game.
It’s not just me – the whole team is collectively working on improving on our weaknesses and learning from our mistakes. We’ll have some surprises up our sleeves, I promise you that.
ONE: What do you think you should watch out for most against someone of Johnson’s caliber?
DK: I’ll be watching out for everything. I need to be alert against his ground game, but I won’t overlook his striking.
It sounds too safe, but it is true. He’s a well-rounded fighter, and I believe I need to be prepared for anything to defend against whatever he throws at me.
ONE: Do you think he has any weaknesses you can exploit?
DK: I think his defenses can be attacked. He’s a very technical fighter with incredible stamina, and he usually gets his way in matches which lead to unanimous decisions favoring him.
Even if he has never been stopped, he lost matches when he wasn’t able to assert his dominance.
ONE: Do you think your stamina and work rate could be the difference if you go the distance?
DK: Of course. I’m always ready no matter how many rounds we go. Our training isn’t just for three or five rounds, it’s for 10. We always train for more rounds than we’re scheduled for.
I will be able to show the result of training at high altitude, the unconventional training that we do, and our routine runs where we improve our cardio. I hope to show everyone that Baguio is a world-class destination to train.
ONE: This card is stacked with match-ups. What makes this one against “Mighty Mouse” stand out above the rest?
DK: The whole event will have World Championships on the line, so it will be a great one to watch out for.
I’m ready to show the world just how good we Filipinos are in this sport, and I’m going to do that by pulling off an upset against one of the favorites in the tournament!
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.