Danny “The King” Kingad, 24, of Baguio City, Philippines endured a wave of adversity on his way up despite his success in the ring as a ONE Championship athlete. Having come through poverty and the tragic loss of his father at a young age, the Igorot mixed martial artist credits his mother as an integral source of inspiration throughout his journey.
But Kingad’s mother prefers not to be there in person during his fights. The ONE Championship athlete shared, “She never watched.”
“I think it isn’t because she doesn’t support me but just because she doesn’t like to see her son getting hurt,” Kingad continued. “At the end of the day, I know she has my back, win or lose.”
Training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines, Kingad has established himself as one of the most exciting MMA fighters in Asia despite losing to former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 33, of Washington, United States in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Final in Tokyo, Japan in 2019. The Igorot MMA fighter returned to winning ways months before the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic paralyzed the sports industry.
With a professional MMA record of 14 wins and 2 losses, Kingad is ranked second in the flyweight division of ONE Championship. He is primed for a second world title shot in the near future.
For men like Kingad, life as an elite martial artist is often oriented around a goal, which is always working towards the next challenge or the next belt. His success brings joy to millions of Filipinos as well as other fans around the world.
But that success is built on a strong foundation. Kingad’s mother deserves credit for molding a warrior like him and shaping his values.
Kingad’s mother deserves to know how appreciated she is. In that regard, the Team Lakay representative said, “For me, it is always Mother’s Day.”
“Nothing can beat a mother’s love,” Kingad continued. “Being a mom is not simple. There’s a lot of hardship and sacrifice.”
Kingad knows parental sacrifice so well now that he is a parent himself. He has been spending the quarantine period with his son Gleuordan Adriel Kingad, who was born on August 14, 2018.
“She’s very important to me because she gave me life,” Danny said of his mother. “She took care of me when I was young, corrected me and taught me a lot of lessons in life. I know I would not be where I am now without her.”
“She helps inspire me,” Danny continued. “She always encourages me to train well and just having her supporting me is like having thousands of fans around the world.”