Former ONE Flyweight World Title challenger Danny “The King” Kingad knows that he is now closer to his goal than ever after his thrilling win in front of his countrymen last Friday, August 2.
The 23-year-old Baguio City native passed the biggest challenge of his career so far when he scored a split-decision win over Australian star Reece “Lightning” McLaren in their ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-finals match at ONE: Dawn of Heroes at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila.
The win did not come easy for “The King”, as “Lightning” pushed him to the limit in all three rounds and almost snatched the win.
It was not too long ago that the Filipino looked up to McLaren. And now that he has a win over him, it certainly boosts his morale moving forward.
“I am really happy getting that win over him,” Kingad said.
“As I’ve said, he has been my idol. And for me to get a win over him, I’m even more motivated to do well now.”
The first two rounds were close, as the two flyweight giants battled back-and-fourth on the ground.
With no one having a major advantage heading into the final round, Kingad’s conditioning helped him score big points in the final minute of the match.
He’d expected McLaren to stand toe-to-toe with him during the match, but the Australian caught Kingard off guard when he decided to take things to the ground.
Nonetheless, it only showed that “The King” can hang wherever the match goes.
“I was expecting this match to be a striking battle, but he really wanted to get that takedown. His focus really is on the ground. But I’m happy that he didn’t succeed, despite getting what he wanted,” Kingad shared.
“I was surprised by a lot of things in the match, but nonetheless, I’m very grateful for the win.”
This was Kingad’s six-straight victory in The Home Of Martial Arts, putting him a win away from a second crack at the ONE Flyweight crown.
Waiting for him in the final at ONE: Century in Tokyo on October 13 is all-time pound-for-pound great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
With the match just a few months away, Kingad has no plans to waste time and will jump back into training right away.
“Now I just want to see my baby, and then after three to four days I think I’m back training,” Kingad said.
“It’s gonna be an intense training camp. I’m happy that he won because I really want to face him. That’s my next goal – beat him.”
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