Kingad to make case as Philippines' top MMA fighter vs Akhemtov
Danny Kingad
ONE Championship photo

Kingad to make case as Philippines' top MMA fighter vs Akhemtov

Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - June 28, 2019 - 2:11pm

MANILA, Philippines – Danny Kingad stakes his claim as the country’s next best thing in mixed martial arts as he slugs it out with former flyweight titlist Kairat Akhemtov of Kazakhstan in ONE: Dawn of Heroes on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The 23-year-old Kingad heads to his upcoming fight brimming with confidence after sweeping his last five fights, including a unanimous decision over Japanese Senzo Ikada in ONE: New Era last May in Tokyo that hiked his record to 10-1 (win-loss).

That victory also earned him a spot in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix against Akhmetov, who totes an equally impressive 23-2 slate, in what could be the biggest fight of his promising career.

Another victory could set up Kingad against mixed martial arts legend and former longtime UFC champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who will battle Japanese Tatsumitsu Wada in the other semis pairing.

“He (Kingad) is a natural fighter and trains really hard. He is also hungry and very determined,” said Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao.

After a promising start in which he hurdled his five straight fights, including three from ONE, Kingad absorbed an embarrassing first-round defeat to Brazilian Ariano Moraes, the reigning flyweight titleholder, via submission (rear-naked choke) in 2017.

But that setback didn’t break his spirit as he worked his way and fought back to sweep his next five fights, including that one over Ikeda where he fought maturely and showed tremendous improvement in his ground game.

With senior Team Lakay teammates Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon and Joshua Pacio yielding their ONE belts one after the other with heartbreaking losses early this year, Kingad could well take over as the country’s next leading MMA fighter.

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