ONE Championship: Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao believes Danny Kingad has made all the right adjustments
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 01, 2019 10:27 AM
“Danny will go all out. He’s given everything in training, and like what he’s been doing in the past, he’ll give everything in this match.” - Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao on Danny Kingad
ONE flyweight talent Danny "The King" Kingad was originally scheduled to face former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov in the semi-finals of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
But in an unexpected turn of events, Akhmetov had to withdraw from the bout after he suffered an injury in training. It left the young phenom from Team Lakay to get a new foe in former World Title challenger Reece "Lightning" McLaren.
The pair of top-tier flyweights are set to collide on the undercard of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, and Kingad’s camp is confident that they have made the necessary adjustments heading to this match.
“We know McLaren’s strengths are in the ground. Danny has to avoid McLaren’s submission attempts,” Team Lakay’s Mark Sangiao said.
“Aside from that, I am not worried. When it comes to power, when it comes to striking, I think Danny has the advantage. We just have to avoid McLaren’s ground game.”
A change of opponent meant that Kingad had to tweak his game plain heading into the bout. While such development could rattle some, if not most, martial artists, Sangiao is confident that his ward was quick to adapt.
“I don’t think Danny struggled in changing his game plan because he’s well rounded. He transitioned well,” Sangiao said.
“Danny is one of the most improved fighters on the team. With what he’s showing, he can definitely put those skills to good use. If he wants to wrestle, or wants to go for the submission, he’ll do it,” he added. “He doesn’t just rely on size and skill.”
What concerns Sangiao however is the fact that McLaren happened to be one of Kingad's idols early in his professional mixed martial arts career. Furthermore, he also believes that McLaren was not at his best when he lost his last outing.
“For me, I just hope that Danny doesn’t get affected because he really looks up to McLaren,” Sangiao revealed.
“I told him that if he wants to be a champion, he has to go through them. He has to beat whoever is in front of him. I thought McLaren’s previous performance didn’t really show who he is against Akhmetov.”
Never the type to predict an outcome, Sangiao gave himself a pass this time. He’s confident, and he knows that Kingad will end up on top against McLaren.
“This will end either in a knockout or a decision, but it will be a great fight,” he said.
“Danny will go all out. He’s given everything in training, and like what he’s been doing in the past, he’ll give everything in this match.”
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Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, August 2 LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestream will be available on the ABS-CBN Facebook Page and on iWant