ONE: CENTURY: No longer just a fan, Danny Kingad ready to go head-to-head with Demetrious Johnson
Santino Honasan on Oct 12, 2019 02:08 PM
“Binigyan ako ng chance na maka-laro siya, binigyan kami ng Grand Prix, kasi nung narinig ko na andito na siya sa ONE, pinag-train ko talaga yun, kasi alam ko na may chance ako na maka-laro siya. Ngayon, hindi ko lang siya napapanod, this Sunday mami-meet ko na din siya sa Circle.” - Danny Kingad (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Back when the brackets for the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix were announced, there was controlled excitement within the Team Lakay camp because their Grand Prix bet, Danny Kingad had the opportunity to, if everything went his way, face American MMA star Demetrious Johnson.
Kingad had been vocal about how he looked up to DJ as a young mixed martial artist, and even told a story of how he used to just choose Johnson as the character that he would play as in video games.
On Sunday however, there will be no games between Kingad and Johnson, as the two face off in the finals of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix in the co-main event of ONE: Century Part I, Sunday, October 13th at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The 23-year old Team Lakay standout recalls his determination to do everything in his power to set up a showdown with one of his MMA idols.
“Binigyan ako ng chance na maka-laro siya, binigyan kami ng Grand Prix, kasi nung narinig ko na andito na siya sa ONE, pinag-train ko talaga yun, kasi alam ko na may chance ako na maka-laro siya. Ngayon, hindi ko lang siya napapanod, this Sunday mami-meet ko na din siya sa Circle.” Kingad told the Pinoy contingent during the media availability session, Thursday evening.
Now that the two are on a collision course, Kingad admits he’s way past looking at DJ as an idol. For Kingad, he now just sees the former long-time UFC champion as a big name that he needs to conquer in order to become ONE Flyweight Grand Prix World Champion.
“Yung mindset ko ngayon, pag nasa laro kaming tao, parehas kami nag-training,” Kingad said. “Para sa akin, pag tinitignan ko siya ngayon, yung nasa-isip ko, na-eexcite ako eh, kasi nga, yun nga, may pangalan siya. Yun lang yung nakikita ko.”
So far in his ONE career, Johnson has been dominant, with two stoppage wins over Yuya Wakamatsu and Tatsumitsu Wada. Something that Kingad has taken note of is the American’s ability to pressure his opponents into breaking. He did that to Wakamatsu after some trouble in the opening round, and then again to Wada in the Grand Prix semifinals.
Kingad knows what to expect, and says that he has worked on what he needs to in order to get the victory.
“Yung nakita ko sa kanya is yung pag-pressure niya. Yung nakita ko sa kanya is kung paano siya mag-pressure, and yung takedowns. Yun yung alam ko na gagawin niya,” explained Kingad. “Ang pinrepare ko talaga is yung cardio, and yung papalakasin ko yung katawan ko.”
Apart from facing one of the biggest names that ONE Championship has signed in recent years, Kingad will also be making his US television debut, with Part I of ONE: Century being broadcast on American primetime television.
For the young Benguet-native, this is a massive opportunity for him to showcase his talents on a much wider audience.
“Excited ako kasi nga yung pangalan na [dinadala ko] ay hindi basta-basta, ire-represent mo yun sa buong mundo, and reading-ready na ako, and yung pressure talaga na pumapasok sa akin ay yung excitement ko sa laro.”
Catch ONE: CENTURY in it’s entirety on LIVESTREAMING on Sunday, October 13 starting at 8:00 AM (Part 1) and 4:00 PM (Part 2) via sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/one and on iWant Sports as well as on the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page and the ABS-CBN Sports YouTube Page!
Catch ONE: CENTURY Part 2 LIVE at 6:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!
ONE: CENTURY Part 1 will air on Friday, October 18 at 8:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23
For more ONE Championship coverage, check out https://sports.abs-cbn.com/onechampionship