‘I Have To Win’ – Kingad Desperate To Bounce Back Against Red-Hot Saputra And Remain In World Title Picture
Longtime ONE superstar Danny Kingad isn’t used to losing – and he plans to rebound back from a rare defeat on February 24.
That evening in U.S. primetime, the #3-ranked flyweight MMA contender will face Indonesian rising star Eko Roni Saputra in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II on Prime Video.
Set for the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, that showdown will be Kingad’s chance to get back in the column, where he’s spent the vast majority of his professional career.
The former ONE Flyweight World Title challenger sports a stellar 10-3 record inside the Circle and has consistently squared off against the top athletes in the division.
However, Saputra is a former Indonesian Wrestling Champion and will enter the bout on an incredible seven-fight winning streak, finishing all of those opponents inside one round. Now, he hopes to keep rising and crack the top-five rankings with another triumph.
It’s a tough challenge for Kingad, who gives his foe credit but ultimately views him as a one-dimensional mixed martial artist.
The 27-year-old told ONEFC.com:
“Eko Roni Saputra has been impressive. He’s on a seven-fight winning streak. What I see from him though is that he always favors his ground game and wrestling. That’s where he’s at his best and that’s what I’ve observed from his previous fights.”
Despite Saputra’s sensational run – which includes five submissions – “The King” is happy to fight him where he does his best work.
In fact, Kingad says he might even flip the script if he senses an opportunity:
“I’ll meet him in the middle of the Circle. I’ll try his wrestling, and if he can’t impose his will on me, then I’ll be the one taking the fight to him and trying to take him down. If he can’t take me down, then it will be me doing the takedowns.”
Still, the Team Lakay representative is a striker at heart.
With his speedy movements and dangerous arsenal of dynamic combinations, Kingad is confident he’s the superior stand-up fighter.
“If this remains on the feet, I believe that I’m really at an advantage. He’s a wrestler and I know my striking is better. So more or less, expect me to try and strike with him.”
Danny Kingad Wants A New Winning Streak And A Belt In 2023
Currently the #3-ranked flyweight contender, Danny Kingad made his ONE Championship debut in 2016 and has consistently found himself among the division’s elite.
But in December 2021 at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II, his momentum toward another World Title shot stalled when he dropped a hard-fought decision to former flyweight king Kairat Akhmetov.
Now in the final preparations for his pivotal clash with Saputra, Kingad hopes to secure a finish, but he’s more concerned about simply getting his hand raised:
“I’ll be aiming for the knockout, but the most important thing is to win. I have to win this fight.”
If he can get past the surging Indonesian, “The King” then plans to start a run of his own and finish the year with a bang.
“My goal for 2023 is to get a good winning streak going. I’m coming off a loss so I have to get back on the winning track, start a winning streak and then become a World Champion before the year ends. That’s my goal this 2023.”