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Kingad returns to octagon after 14 months lay-off, seeks world title shot

DANNY “THE KING” KINGAD. ONE Championship Photo

Danny “The King” Kingad will be returning to the octagon ring soon that may serve as a springboard to his dream of becoming Team Lakay’s second champion in the flyweight division of the ONE Championship.

The February 25 schedule for The King comes 14 months after absorbing his third defeat, all from former and current world champions.

The King, 10-3-0 (win-loss-draw) makes his return against a red hot Eko Roni Saputra, 7-1-0, on February 25 as undercard to the ONE Fight Night 7 which features John Lineker and Fabrice Andrade for the vacant world bantamweight throne at the Lumpinee Stadium in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

In his latest interview, Kingad said that he is extra motivated after his postponed December 2022 fight in Manila where he was supposed to face Gurdashan Mangat at the ONE 164.

However, the Indian-Canadian had to pull out, forcing “The King” to further wait for his return to the ONE Championship Circle.

Now the third ranked flyweight contender said that he is eager for an impressive comeback, especially since he hasn’t stopped preparing – even after the cancellation of his previous bout.

“My training pretty much continued even after Mangat dropped out. I never stopped and I stayed in shape, so training and preparation is not an issue for me,” Kingad said.

Kingad believes that the wrestling specialist Saputrahas is no pushover but he believes that aside from Saputra’s wrestling, nothing will really threaten him.

“Eko Roni Saputrahas been impressive. He’s on a seven-fight winning streak. What I see from him, though, is that he always favors his ground game and wrestling. That’s where he’s at his best, and that’s what I’ve observed from his previous fights,” he said.

“I’ve watched his every fight, and it’s the ground game that I have to worry about. Sure he had a knockout win, but his opponent wasn’t a good striker.“

The Team Lakay dynamo sees the match as crucial as this will push his goal to be on top of the weight division once ruled by fellow Team Lakay member, Geje Eustaquio.

Kingad lost in his last outing in Dec. 17, 2021 against former world champion Kairat Akhmetov and the 27-year-old knows that if he wants to get a shot at the ONE flyweight world title, he must defea Saputra.

“My goal for 2023 is to get a good winning streak going,” he said.

“I’m coming off a loss, so I have to get back on the winning track, start a winning streak, and then become a World Champion before the year ends. That’s my goal this 2023.”

Kigad’s two other defeats came at the hands of flyweight kings – former and longest reigning champion Adriano Moraes for the world title in Nov. 10, 2017 in the 4;45 mark of the first round via rear naked choke and to now reigning king Demetrius Johnson in October 12, 2019 via unanimous decision in favor of the American. Pigeon Lobien

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