For three rounds, Danny Kingad tested himself against the greatest flyweight mixed martial fighter in history, Demetrious Johnson.
And while Kingad was unable to secure the victory over the “Mighty Mouse” when they clashed in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Finals, it did give him a sense of foothold in the rankings.
Kingad will now try to regain his place in the winners’ circle at ONE: FIRE & FURY when he faces Xie Wei on 31 January at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
The loss at ONE: CENTURY for “The King” broke his six-bout winning streak and forced him to do a bit of self-reflection before deciding to return to action.
“Everyone will see something new from me in the coming year,” Kingad said.
“With everything that I learned about myself in 2019, the next year will be a chance for me to show how much I have grown. My personal goal is to win every match in order to become worthy of a world title challenge soon.”
Kingad, who racked-up victories over Reece McLaren, Senzo Ikeda, and Tatsumitsu Wada over the past 12 months, now holds a 13-2 career card. That includes nine wins in 11 ONE Championship appearances.
Both of Kingad’s victories over McLaren and Wada were at the Mall of Asia Arena, giving him a boost of confidence in his coming bout.
Kingad said every chance to compete helped him prepare for his fight with Xie.
“I learned a lot,” Kingad said.
“I was against top-caliber athletes who were able to make me realize some of my weaknesses, which I continuously work on to improve. The experience (of facing Johnson) was very exciting, and I was really happy because I was given a chance to be a part of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship,” he said.
Despite walking away without the victory in his fight against Johnson, Kingad said: “I am very much satisfied with my performance, and I am really happy to have competed against such talented athletes.”
“Not everyone can get a chance to compete against an in-his-prime DJ, but I was able to go toe-to-toe with him and push him for three rounds.”
Kingad will be joined in ONE: FIRE & FURY by his Team Lakay teammates, ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio and Eduard Folayang.
Pacio will be defending his ONE Strawweight World Title against Alex Silva in the main event, with Folayang battling Ahmed Mujtaba in a lightweight match.