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Mixed Martial Arts

Danny Kingad feels honored to perform on Muay Thai’s hallowed grounds


Filipino spitfire Danny Kingad knows what it’s like to strut his wares under the bright lights of a world-class venue.

Throughout his seven-year tenure under the ONE Championship banner, he has graced a good number of prominent showgrounds such as the 20,000-capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines, the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Japan, the 12,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium, and the Studio City Event Center in Macau.

On Saturday morning, February 25, Kingad will be setting foot on a legendary sporting site that has been synonymous with Muay Thai in Thailand.

He is set to face Indonesia’s Eko Roni Saputra under mixed martial arts rules on the main card of ONE Fight Night 7, which takes place at the fabled Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in the bustling city of Bangkok.

The 27-year-old native of Sadanga, Mountain Province feels ecstatic knowing that he will be performing in an arena, where household names like Yodsanklai Fairtex, Buakaw Banchamek, and Saenchai rose to stardom.

“Thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

“It’s where great Muay Thai fighters became legends and world champions, and not everyone gets the opportunity to fight there. To me, it’s really an honor to be part of this card,” Kingad said.

Earlier this year, the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium became the official home of ONE Friday Fights, the promotion’s live weekly show that aims to feature the very best Muay Thai competitors.

The aforementioned Muay Thai hub has been chosen by ONE Championship to play host to its upcoming flagship card, which will also simulcast live on Prime Video in the United States on Friday evening, February 24.

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For Kingad, his performance this weekend should precede the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium’s time-honored reputation for delivering unforgettable matches.

“It gives me the drive to put on a show for the fans who will be watching it live in the arena or at home,” the current No. 3-rated flyweight contender stated.

I don’t want to let the Thai people down, and at the same time, I want to have my moment there like my idols.”

Moreover, the Team Lakay export sees his next assignment as the perfect opportunity to reintroduce himself to the members of his stacked weight class by securing a decisive victory over Saputra.

Saputra has been knocking on the door for a spot in the Top Five after winning seven-straight outings with five of them coming by way of first-round submission.

Meanwhile, Kingad is coming off a disappointing loss to former ONE flyweight champion Kairat Akhmetov at ONE: Winter Warriors II in December 2021.

Kingad made it clear that he has no plans of giving up his seat in the division’s rankings.

“I need to just win and do it convincingly. The one I’m fighting is not even ranked in the Top Five yet, so I need to finish him to prove my point,” he mentioned.

“It’s really hard to predict the outcome, but the way I see it, I’m going to finish him off in any round. That’s my plan. I won’t let it go into the judges’ hands.”

Written By

Nissi Icasiano is a sportswriter, analyst and editor from the Philippines. He started his professional career in 2013. He has also written for various media outlets such as Rappler.com, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times, Philboxing.com, MSN.com, South China Morning Post, The Phnom Penh Post and the International Business Times. In 2017, he started a career as a Combat Sports Analyst for television and radio, appearing on various news shows for ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5, Radyo Singko 92.3 News FM, PTV 4, Business World, Radyo Pilipinas 2 and Bombo Radyo Philippines. He practices boxing at Tiger City Boxing Gym whenever he is not writing.


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