Danny “The King” Kingad (10-1) is constantly seeking knowledge – whether he wins or loses.
The Filipino displayed his Baguio jiu-jitsu stylings, and utilized his famed wushu striking to earn a unanimous decision win.
In victory, Kingad believes he now has the experience necessary to get through a rough spot, especially when an opponent never backs down.
“My last bout was one of my hardest, and I learned a lot from it,” the 22-year-old says.
“Props to Ma Hao Bin – he showed his strength and toughness. He was a really tough opponent and was hard to finish. He had some good takedowns and submission defense.
“Every time I wanted to stand and trade, he would shoot on me, which was tricky. I couldn’t land many clean strikes. I definitely proved to myself that I can beat a scrappy opponent in a hard fight.”
Now, with even more confidence, Kingad will bring newfound knowledge into his upcoming battle on Saturday, 22 September.
The 23-year-old Tokyo, Japan-based competitor is a Pancrase Flyweight Tournament Champion who is revered for his knockout power. Of his 10 career wins, nine of them have come by way of KO or TKO.
While that would intimidate some men, “The King” is unfazed. The former ONE Flyweight World Title challenger is actually excited to test his stand-up skills against such a formidable competitor.
“He is a dangerous opponent with a lot of knockouts. His style appears to favor striking over grappling. I think that is his strength,” Kingad explains.
“I would love to test his striking to see what that’s all about, and he looks skilled on the ground, also. He is a well-rounded fighter, and I think this will be a good test for me. I’m prepared to go wherever this fight takes me, whether that’s on the feet or on the ground. I’m ready.”
Kingad, a Philippines wushu champion, possesses a distinct martial arts style, which combines power and finesse.
In anticipation of his clash with his Japanese opponent, he is training with his closest ally Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, who challenges ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito for the belt in the night’s main event.
While the Filipino’s record is not as explosive as Wakamatsu’s on paper, he believes he has all the tools to stop “Little Piranha” in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I don’t like to predict how things will end, but I am definitely looking for the finish. I want to make a statement and let everyone know that my skills are improving,” he explains.
“This game is highly competitive, and there are a lot of guys looking to get to the top. My job is to beat whoever is in front of me.”
However, there is some extra incentive for defeating Wakamatsu.
Both Kingad and Pacio have dreamed about competing — and winning — on the same event for years. Now that the two best friends have the opportunity, they are motivated to fulfill that longtime goal.
Also, “The King” wants to set the tone for the event. He believes a victory will boost his teammate’s morale for his main-event rematch later in the night.
“I’m not going to lie – there is added pressure for me to win,” he admits.
“Me and Joshua are competing on the same card. That, to me, is special. I have to win for my friend, so I’m preparing very hard so that I can beat this dangerous opponent.”
It is going to be a special night for Team Lakay’s young martial arts prodigies. If they can both achieve victory in Jakarta, they will realize a dream and take their careers to new heights.