Danny Kingad Is Eager To Show Something New In 2020
An almost immaculate run in 2019 has made Filipino mixed martial arts star Danny Kingad a better athlete. ‘The King’ appeared in four bouts, three of which were in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
After winning his first three assignments (against Tatsumitsu Wada in January, Senzo Ikeda in March and Reece McLaren last August), the Team Lakay stalwart found himself in the tournament final, where he came up against one of the greatest mixed martial artists on the planet, Demetrious Johnson.
Although Kingad came up just short from capturing the Grand Prix title at ONE: Century, the 24 year old was thankful for the experience, especially that matchup with Johnson.
“The experience was very exciting, and I was really happy because I was given a chance to be a part of it. What made it extra special was that I got all the way to the finals. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take home the top prize,” the Igorot warrior told ONE Championship.
“It had to be competing against DJ. There are a lot of people who could only dream about facing him in the Circle, but I was lucky enough to have had that chance. He is a really exciting opponent, and I learned a lot from just competing against him,” Kingad added.
“Back (several years ago), the closest encounter I had with him was playing against him as a character in a video game. But now, I actually stood across from him in the Circle.”
But that setback turned out to be an additional fuel to his fire, after Demetrious paid him a huge compliment after their bout, which Danny will certainly carry throughout his professional career.
“We congratulated each other for going the distance, and he thanked me for bringing everything I had in the finals. He told me I will have a chance to be a world champion in the future. He also complimented me on being one of the toughest warriors he has had to face,” Kingad shared.
“Well, of course in video games, all you need to work are your fingers. It helped me get ready for some of his moves that the game could simulate, but the real-life DJ is a different beast. His vast experience really showed in the Circle, and he was unbelievably fast.”
Kingad was also grateful to face other top athletes in his division in his career so far and pick up relevant takeaways from them. Those takeaways allowed him to up his overall skill.
“I am very much satisfied with my performance, and I’m really happy to have competed against such talented athletes. Like I said, not everyone can get a chance to compete against an in-his-prime DJ, but I was able to go toe-to-toe with him and push him for three rounds.”
“I learned a lot. I was against top-caliber athletes who were able to make me realize some of my weaknesses, which I continuously work on to improve.”
“Every bout is different, with each of them having strengths in various disciplines of martial arts, so I had to work on my all-around game in order to be prepared for anyone I had to face.”
Besides from sharing the circle with DJ, Kingad also revealed his most unforgettable experience from the past twelve months.
“I think my favourite moment of the year was the chance to experience the brotherhood in ONE. Through the ONE Elite Retreat, I was able to feel the camaraderie and mutual respect all of the athletes have for each other.
“It was like we were all classmates and Chatri [Sityodtong, ONE Championship CEO] was our teacher. He was the one who taught us lessons. The retreat gave us a chance to meet our fellow competitors and discover a different side of them.”
Above all the fantastic events he has been part of, Danny Kingad is ready to display all of the learnings he got from 2019, in the new year. With an upcoming match against China’s Xie Wie next month in Manila at ONE: Fire & Fury, everyone should expect an improved version of him.
“Everyone will see something new from me in the coming year. With everything that I learned about myself in 2019, the next year will be a chance for me to show how much I’ve grown. My personal goal is to win every match in order to become worthy of a world title challenge soon.”