ONE: After failing to get quick KO, Kingad turns to his strength on ground
JAKARTA—Danny Kingad wanted to go for a quick finish, but Yuya Wakamatsu had other plans.
The Japanese fighter staggered Kingad with a hard low kick and dropped him with a right straight in the first round of their flyweight match on Saturday at Jakarta Convention Center here.
“I tried a different game plan, just to try it. I wanted to get a knockout,” admitted Kingad to Filipino reporters after the match. “But when he got to me first, I mixed it up. I started thinking of how to take him down.”
Overcoming a scary start, Kingad turned it around and went to strength en route to a unanimous decision victory over Wakamatsu, his third straight in the promotion.
“He’s really legitimate a boxer,” Kingad said of Wakamatsu, who made his debut in ONE Championship. “I was really caught off guard with his punch. I felt the power of his punches.”
But the Team Lakay fighter went back to his original game plan and brought the fight to the mat, where he dominated Wakamatsu in a display of his much-improved ground game.
“Coach Mark [Sangiao] drew up a game plan, and that was to throw strikes to set up a takedown, because we knew that wrestling would be my advantage,” Kingad added.
Like Pacio, Kingad also dedicated his victory to the victims left by Typhoon Ompong in the Cordillera region.
“We’re very happy that we won because this fight is for them. We were really going 100% for them.”
There is no time for rest for Kingad, though, as he expects to face even tougher opponents in his bid to return to top contender status in his division.
“We’re not going to stop training. I’m even more motivated now to work hard, especially after Joshua’s win. I’m ready for anyone they will put in front of me.”
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