From troubled teen to title contender, Danny Kingad thankful to have found martial arts
"Talagang thankful ako kasi talagang binigyan ako ni God ng, ‘Ito talaga yung para sayo,’ sabi niya." - Danny Kingad (FILE PHOTO)
In a couple of days, Danny Kingad will enter the cage and challenge reigning ONE Championship flyweight world title holder Adriano Moraes.
Just seven fights into his mixed martial arts caree and three fights into this ONE Championship run, the 21-year old Baguio City native is one win away from achieving a dream that every mixed martial artist has: to become a world champion.
For a lot of prize fighters, the journey to becoming a world champion begins the moment that they're able to walk. Some have dedicated their whole lives to becoming fighters and martial artists, training as early as five or six years old, maybe even younger.
Then there are some, like Danny, who find their way into it a little later in life.
Life growing up wasn't easy for Danny, and when he set foot in high school, the pressures of adolescent life took hold.
Partying, smoking, drinking, it was all there for Danny, as was revealed in a story published back in April of 2017.
Fortunately for the kid, he was able to turn his life around with the help of martial arts, and for that, he's truly grateful.
"Talagang thankful ako kasi talagang binigyan ako ni God ng, ‘Ito talaga yung para sayo,’ sabi niya." Danny said during the ONE: Legends of the World press conference. "Then dun ako pumasok, tapos tinuloy-tuloy ko. Yun naman, nag-click, tapos andito na ako."
("I'm really thankful because God showed me a way, as if to say 'This is what you're meant to do.' I got into [martial arts] and kept going from there. It clicked, and now I'm here.")
It clicked, indeed.
Danny began his professional MMA career back in 2015 and picked up two straight wins before getting called up to ONE Championship.
Under the Singaporean-based promotion, Kingad continued his winning ways, going 3-0 in his first three outings, establishing himself as a prospect to watch in ONE.
Friday night, Kingad has the chance to elevate himself from prospect and contender to world champion.
"Excited na ako para makuha natin yung belt na yun. Well-prepared naman ako, emotionally, tapos physically."
("I'm excited to get that belt. I'm well prepared emotionally and phyically.")
From a troubled teen to a title contender, Kingad's life has taken a complete 180, and for him, a win on Friday night could write the next chapter of his young career.
"Yun lang yung I think na nag-champion ako, may next page sa life ko. If ever na mag-champion ako, parang mag-iiba yung life ko, andun na sa high level."
("I think that if I become champion, it writes a next page in my life. If ever I become champion, my life is going to change, I'll be at the high level.")
Danny Kingad challenges Adriano Moraes for the ONE Flyweight World Championship at ONE: Legends of the World on Friday, November 10th at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Philippines.
Catch the action LIVE starting at 8:30 PM on S+A channel 23!