‘I Can Knock Him Out’ – Danny Kingad Plans To Showcase Improved Striking In Rematch With Yuya Wakamatsu

Danny Kingad stands in the ring at ONE Fight Night 7

Danny “The King” Kingad is eager to display his continuous evolution when he takes on Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu in a pivotal rematch at ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru.  

The #2-ranked flyweight MMA contender defeated “Little Piranha” in September 2018, but this time, Wakamatsu will have the home-crowd advantage at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.  

However, competing in enemy territory doesn’t faze “The King.”

He believes his skills will keep him ahead of the #4-ranked slugger in their high-stakes tilt on Sunday, January 28.   

The Filipino star told onefc.com: 

“When Yuya was offered to me, I didn’t really mind facing him again because we’re meeting as contenders now. He deserves to fight a fellow contender because he’s been performing well. And we’re fighting in Japan, so I’m excited.  

“Of course, he’ll have the crowd behind him, but that’s all the advantage that he’ll get in this match. The moment we step in the ring and we square up with our skills and strength, I believe I have every advantage.” 

In order to prove he’s progressed more than his old foe, Kingad wants to go one better than his first win over Wakamatsu. 

Last time, “The King” felt the Japanese striker’s heavy hands before grappling his way to a decision victory. Now, he’s determined to finish things inside the distance – and he thinks he can accomplish that goal on the feet.

Kingad said:

“Since that first fight, I think I’ve become a much better striker. I really zeroed in on my striking and refined it this time.  

“I think I can knock him out. He’s a knockout artist for sure, but I believe I can finish him. All I need is that one clean shot. There’s no tough chin for a well-placed hit on the jaw.  

“If I can’t knock him out, I believe I can also finish him on the mat. I’ll go all out for the finish. My prediction is that I’ll finish him in the second round. I really don’t want this fight to last.” 

Kingad Motivated To Claim First Win For Lions Nation MMA 

Danny Kingad is even more confident that he can deliver a finish due to his recent move to Lions Nation MMA, where he joined longtime teammates and former ONE World Champions Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, and Joshua Pacio, among others.

Although Kingad didn’t move to the new gym in the first wave of exits from Team Lakay – where he trained for his latest victory over Eko Roni Saputra – he admits the switch was never in doubt.

“The King” explained: 

“There really isn’t any backstory in staying for one more fight with Team Lakay and leaving after. When the others left, I was already preparing for that fight against Eko Roni Saputra, so I went ahead and finished my camp for that fight with Team Lakay.   

“I just made sure to focus on the fight first, my camp with Team Lakay, and then joined the rest of the team. Joining Lions Nation was a no-brainer. I was always going to join my brothers. 

“They’re my friends. They were the ones who were there in my low points, and I’ll make sure to be there for them now that they’re trying to help others. I’m happy here.” 

Kingad certainly feels at home again alongside the athletes who were once the biggest force in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

Now learning from that collective experience and benefiting from their unique relationships, the 28-year-old can’t wait to show the results of his training and represent Lions Nation MMA for the first time in Tokyo. 

He added: 

“It’s a collaborative effort here, which makes it more enjoyable. We watch the fights of our opponents together, then we brainstorm our game plan. When it comes to training, the support system has been excellent. Everything is taken care of.  

“We’re very excited. There’s this fresh energy for us. And this, being the first time representing Lions Nation MMA, I really want to win for this team. Everyone in the team is excited for you. You feel all the support.” 

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