MMA, martial arts

Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad: Demetrious Johnson’s fight IQ is on a different level

Danny Kingad, Kemp Cheng, Senzo Ikeda (©ONE Championship)

Danny Kingad, Kemp Cheng, Senzo Ikeda (©ONE Championship)

Danny “The King” Kingad turned 24 on September 28, 2019. The Igorot mixed martial artist training at Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines recently talked about Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 33, of Kirkland, Washington, United States.

“Demetrious is a well-rounded athlete,” Kingad said. “His striking skills, ground game, and fight IQ is on a different level. He remains the same dominant fighter I grew up watching on television.”

ONE Championship will hold a two-part event titled “ONE: Century 世紀” at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on October 13, 2019, marking the martial arts organization’s 100th live event. In the co-main event of the first part, Johnson and Kingad will compete in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix grand final.

This will be the second time for both Johnson and Kingad to compete at he Ryōgoku Kokugikan. On March 31, 2019, they competed in separate bouts at “ONE: A New Era” in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix quarter-finals in the same venue.

At “ONE: A New Era,” Kingad put in a dominant performance against Senzo Ikeda, 36, of Japan while Johnson secured a guillotine choke victory over Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu, 24, of Japan. On August 2, 2019, Kingad and Johnson competed in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-finals at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines in separate bouts again.

At “ONE: Dawn of Heroes,” Johnson and Kingad defeated Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada, 24, of Japan and Reece “Lightning” Mclaren, 27, of Australia, respectively. The American fighter won via unanimous decision while the Filipino contender won via split decision.

Johnson is Kingad’s idol. The Filipino fighter said, “I can’t wait for our match to begin.”

“Demetrious is one of the athletes I have been looking forward to stepping into the cage with ever since he signed with ONE Championship,” Kingad continued. “He is also one of the athletes who I look up to as a martial artist. We were both in Japan in the first round of the tournament.”

“Now we will be back there for the finals,” the Team Lakay warrior added. “Almost everyone in my division wanted to have the chance of testing their skills against him. I have worked hard to reach the finals of this tournament and I feel blessed to share this stage with him.”

A 12-time flyweight world champion, Johnson is considered by some as the best MMA fighter in the world. His skills may be a lot to overcome but Kingad believes there is a chink in Johnson’s armor which he can use to his advantage.

“I think he is having a little bit of difficulty with our Asian athletes because our style somewhat differs from those in the west,” Kingad said of Johnson. “He also was taken down easily a lot here and in his previous promotion, that is an opportunity we are looking at.”

The ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix finals will not be a walk in the park for Kingad but he vows to come prepared for perhaps the most definitive match of his career. He shared, “I am continuously working on all aspects of my game.”

“In the world of mixed martial arts, anything can happen,” Kingad continued. “I need to be well equipped to dominate wherever the fight will take me.”

“This match is significant not only for me but for the guys at Team Lakay as well,” the Igorot MMA fighter added. “I’m going in there to give my best and win.”

Meanwhile, here is John in a press conference after the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-finals in the Philippines:

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