ONE: Kingad draws praise from Akhmetov ahead of crucial bout
MANILA, Philippines — Former ONE flyweight world champion Kairat Akhmetov heaped praise for Filipino rising star Danny Kingad ahead of their showdown in ONE: Big Bang on Dec. 4 in Singapore.
Akhmetov admitted Kingad, who is the second-ranked contender in the flyweight class, is a “complete fighter” who is as good in striking as he is on the ground.
“He doesn’t have many holes in his game. He is a complete fighter who can strike, wrestle, and grapple well. He always has good cardio too,” Akhmetov said.
“But me and my coach have analyzed him a lot. Everyone has some weak spots, and I will work on exploiting him when we meet.”
The 33-year-old Akhmetov (23-2) and Kingad (14-2) were supposed to meet last year in the Grand Prix semifinals but the Kazakh was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury.
Kingad made the final round of the tournament where he lost to Demetrious Johnson.
“Danny is a very interesting fighter with a big heart, and a strong will to win. He is a very explosive, and well-rounded athlete. This bout is interesting to me because we were supposed to face each other in the Grand Prix. Now, we have a chance to finish our business. I have only a good impression of him. He is a really good and worthy opponent,” said Akhmetov, who is ranked No. 3 in the division.
“I’m confident in all areas of my game. I’m not just a wrestler. We are ranked very high in this division, and this match is a can’t-miss for all fans. There’s a lot on the line in this one. I will do everything in my power to get my hand raised on that day. Everything else is up to the Almighty.”
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