After beating Senzo Ikeda, 36, of Tokyo, Japan and Reece “Lightning” McLaren, 27, of Australia, Danny “The King” Kingad, 24, of the Philippines is now only one step away from become the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion. The Filipino mixed martial artist is currently in Tokyo, Japan for “ONE: Century 世紀.”
ONE Championship will hold “ONE: Century 世紀” with two parts both taking place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on October 13, 2019. One of the two co-main events of the first part is the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix final between Kingad and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 32, of the United States.
To get into the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix final, Kingad had to beat Ikeda in the quarterfinal and MCLaren in the semi-final. Training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, the Filipino MMA fighter defeated the Japanese contender via unanimous decision at “ONE: A New Era” at the Ryogoku Kokugikan on March 31, 2019 and the Australian fighter at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on August 2, 2019.
According to Kingad, Ikeda was really tough. The Team Lakay warrior said no matter what he did, he just could not knock the Japanese fighter down.
“In that bout, I dominated him,” Kingad said of Ikeda. “I showed my ground game and wrestling.
For Kingad, his bout with McLaren was one of the hardest matches he has ever had noting that his Australian opponent was also a champion in another promotion. The Filipino fighter shared, “When we were in the ring, I focused on striking but he did not want to strike with me.”
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“He was focused on takedowns,” Kingad said of McLaren. “He really wanted to submit me. I focused on ground defense. He was not able to control me and he eventually got exhausted. I started to dominate him in both striking and on the ground.”
“For me, I did not feel pressure because it was in my hometown,” Kingad continued. “My countrymen were cheering for me and that gave me motivation and determination.”
Team Lakay fighters are known for their dangerous striking skills but have been criticized for their ground game. But Kingad is a proof that can face any opponent whether standing up or on the ground.
“People were saying our ground game has improved but we are striving to further improve on our past mistakes,” Kingad said. “Now we are well rounded. We can strike.”
“We have a ground game,” the Team Lakay warrior emphasized. “We have wrestling. I am excited to show the world the results of my hard work over the last two years.”
Meanwhile, watch the complete “ONE: Century 世紀” press conference here: