ONE: Kingad looking for 2nd round knockout vs Akhmetov
MANILA, Philippines—Danny Kingad is regarded as one of Team Lakay’s most technical martial artists with his methodical pacing often resulting in unanimous decision wins in ONE Championship.
This time, however, Kingad is predicting a knockout win when he faces Kairat Akhmetov in their flyweight match in ONE: Big Bang on December 4 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I’ve wanted to face him for a long time because I want to test my skills against him, particularly in wrestling. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be a fun fight,” said Kingad (14-2). “I think I’m better than him in the striking department, but we’ll have to wait and see in the fight. He’s improved a lot.”
“I don’t know how the fight will go. We’ll know once we’re in there. But I’m definitely going for the finish. I think this won’t last two rounds. It will end with a second round knockout.”
Kingad, the no.2-ranked flyweight, hasn’t had a stoppage win since his submission victory over Eugene Toquero in December 2016 and his last knockout was the prior fight against Muhammad Haidar in his ONE Championship debut in April 2016.
Part of Kingad’s motivation to knock Akhmetov (23-2) out is his long wait for a bout against the former champion and no.3 flyweight in the promotion.
A natural wrestler, Akhmetov has 10 submissions under his belt but his five KOs/TKOs also speak volumes of his striking capabilities.
“I think his biggest strength is that he’s very well-rounded. He has good wrestling skills, but he’s not just a wrestler. He can strike too, and I shouldn’t underestimate him,” said Kingad. “I think I’m better than him all-around. I’m very proud of my skills, and I think I have the best team behind me. We’ve prepared very well for this fight. We have a good strategy coming into this. I want to win for my family, my fans, and for the Filipino people.”
“Of course, he’s very good on the ground, has strong control, and can finish opponents on the mat. If he had any area of weakness, it would have to be in his striking. That’s what I’m going to try to expose. I’m focusing on that.”
A win for Kingad could set him up for a title fight against the winner of the anticipated match between ONE World flyweight champion Adriano Moraes and former UFC titleholder Demetrious Johnson.
Redemption could also be on Kingad’s mind as the only two losses of his career were against Johnson and Moraes.
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