Danny Kingad confident ahead of Saputra showdown

By Jun Ray Navarres

After an impressive nine to one start in the ONE Championship including a six-fight win streak, Danny Kingad has seen the ups and downs of his MMA career.

Kingad’s momentum was cut off by Demetrious Johnson and in Dec 2021 he fell short of Kairat Akhmetov at ONE: Winter Warriors II.

But the King will be ending his 14-month hiatus and is set to face Eko Roni Saputra on the main card of ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II, emanating from the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on, Saturday, February 25.

A fabled grappler against the tank of Kingad.

But wushu as Team Lakay’s only weapon is only a thing in the past as Kingad assures fans that he is ready for the Indonesian’s ground tussle.

“I know I have to watch out for his wrestling, but he should also be ready for my ground game. I’ve worked on it and several more during training camp,” said Kingad.

“I’m confident I can surprise him with a thing or two in the fight.”

Kingad has been polishing his ground game to compliment his bottomless tank.

And Shinya Aoki’s visit to the stable came in the most perfect time for Kingad. The King was able to join the exclusive grappling session of Tobikan Judan when he visited Baguio last month.

“I undoubtedly picked up a lot from Aoki, who makes up for his lack of size and natural strength with simple techniques we frequently overlook in training. It is an honor to have the chance to train with him. I can’t wait to showcase everything I’ve learned from him in my upcoming fight,” shared Kingad.

True that Saputra is complete when it comes to ground game with his podium finishes in the freestyle wrestling category in two editions of the Southeast Asian Games. He also has a five out of seven first round submission in his record book.

But Kingad will be ready for him.

A week after Aoki’s trip to Baguio City, Team Lakay headmaster Mark Sangiao called for further reinforcement in the form of Ali Heydarabadi, an Iranian wrestling coach who played a vital role in the group’s resurgence in the mid-2010s.

“I’m more than ready wherever the match goes. It can be in striking, or we can take it to the ground. I know I have a lot of weapons in store for him,” Kingad declared.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @burnsports

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