JAKARTA — Danny Kingad's resiliency was tested at ONE: Conquest of Heroes when he got caught with a solid right hook early on in his duel against Japanese bet Yuya Wakamatsu.
"Nagulat ako nung na-One Punch Man ako. Bigla akong napa-upo," he said, looking back on that early exchange in the first round. “Naramdaman ko yung power niya talaga.”
Quick to react, Kingad changed his plans on the fly and focused on his grappling, rebounding late in the round as he almost locked in a rear-naked choke just before the bell rang.
“Naisip ko na kunin yung paa niya, tapos nung na-takedown ko siya, kayang-kaya pala kaya doon ako nag-stick sa gameplan,” he said. “Hindi ko alam na black belt siya eh. Ang alam ko lang ay striker siya, knockout artist kaya yung naramdaman ko na power ko talaga sa kanya ay yung sa wrestling and sa ground, ginanahan ako kaya dun ko na lang siya kinuha.”
The 23-year-old Kingad focused on that approach moving forward as he outpointed Wakamatsu to score the unanimous decision victory.
“Sinubukan ko yung striking kasi parang gusto ko din maiba yung gameplan, gusto ko maka-knockout kasi eh. Pero nung ako yung naunahan, nag-iba ako ng gameplan,” he said with a sly grin.
The victory hiked Kingad’s record to 8-1 as he now is on a three-fight winning streak.
The Team Lakay flyweight isn’t rushing his title bid with stablemate Geje Eustaquio reigning supreme in thedivision, knowing that his time will come.
“Kahit sino, kakalabanin ko. Pero ang alam ko na tina-target para sa akin baka si (Kairat) Akhmetov ang susunod kaya pag-hahandaan ko yan,” he said.
For now, Kingad takes pride in the success of his close friend and new ONE Strawweight Champion Joshua Pacio.
“Bago kami nag-debut, gusto naming dalawa na manalo ng manalo at mag-champion,” he said. “Natupad din. Talagang binigay ni God yung panalo at I’m very happy kay Joshua kasi bata pa lang sita, nakuha niya yung belt. Parang na-motivate ako na mag-training ng mag-training lalo.”