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Mixed Martial Arts

Danny Kingad runs it back with Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE 165 in Japan

Lions Nation MMA will be sending its newest member to represent the Philippines in ONE Championship’s much-awaited return to Japan on January 28.

Danny Kingad is set to step inside the ring for a flyweight rematch against hometown hero and arch-nemesis Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE 165. The event will emanate live from Tokyo’s Ariake Arena.

The forthcoming clash is a sequel to their first encounter in September 2018, a hard-hitting three-round duel that concluded with Kingad having his hand raised by unanimous decision.

Since then, both men have charted different trajectories in the division.

Kingad (15-3) has secured victories in five of his last seven matches, maintaining his position as the No. 2-rated contender.

FILE-PHOTO-Danny-Kingad Danny Kingad runs it back with Yuya Wakamatsu at ONE 165 in Japan Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news


His most recent triumph came this past February, where he authored a shut-out unanimous decision win over Eko Roni Saputra.

The 28-year-old spitfire from Sadanga, Mountain Province faced a setback last October when he had to withdraw from a scheduled bout against Hu Yong due to injury.

However, “The King” is back in optimal condition and eager to resume his ascent through the flyweight rankings.

On the other hand, Wakamatsu (16-6) has experienced a mix of highs and lows, recording a 6-3 win-loss card since his defeat to the Filipino.

Despite an unsuccessful bid to capture the ONE flyweight title against then-champion Adriano Moraes in March 2022 and then a stoppage loss at the hands of Woo Sung Hoon eight months later, “Little Piranha” rebounded with a first-round knockout of Xie Wei back in July.

This triumph also ensured the Japanese’s grip on the No. 4 spot in the Top Five.

#ReadMore  Jack Animam finishes with 20-20 as SHU posts gritty win in UBA semis

The outcome of the upcoming rematch holds significant implications for both Kingad and Wakamatsu.

A victory for either contender will undoubtedly strengthen their case for a potential shot at the ONE flyweight championship currently held by Demetrious Johnson.

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, ABS-CBN, Tiebreaker Times,,, 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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