Danny Kingad did not fight at all in 2022. The Filipino has had an entire year to reflect on his decision loss to Kairat Akhmetov and it sounds like it has only stoked his fire.

Kingad has big ambitions for 2023 and can get the year off to a perfect start by beating Eko Roni Saputra at ONE Fight Night 7 later this month. It is over two years since the #3 ranked Filipino last won a fight and he knows he cannot afford to lose this one,

“I’ll be aiming for the knockout, but the most important thing is to win. I have to win this fight.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ONE Championship (@onechampionship)

Impressive form

His opponent is a wrestler who barely remembers what it feels like to lose. Saputra has won seven fights in a row since suffering defeat on his ONE Championship debut back in 2019.

The Indonesian might be unranked but Kingad is clearly not underestimating him,

“Eko Roni Saputra has been impressive. He’s on a seven-fight winning streak. What I see from him though is that he always favors his ground game and wrestling. That’s where he’s at his best and that’s what I’ve observed from his previous fights.”

Team Lakay fighters are now known for their wrestling. They tent to try and keep fights standing but Kingad warns that he will have no hesitation in shooting for a takedown himself,

“I’ll meet him in the middle of the circle. I’ll try his wrestling, and if he can’t impose his will on me, then I’ll be the one taking the fight to him and trying to take him down. If he can’t take me down, then it will be me doing the takedowns.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ONE Championship (@onechampionship)

Standup war

But striking is Kingad’s strong point and he would love nothing more than to suck Saputra into a standup war,

“If this remains on the feet, I believe that I’m really at an advantage. He’s a wrestler and I know my striking is better. So more or less, expect me to try and strike with him.”

Kingad has consistently been one of the top ranked fighters in the division. He reached the final of the flyweight Grand Prix in 2019 and posed Demetrious Johnson a few problems despite slipping to a decision defeat.

He also challenged Adriano Moraes or the flyweight title in 2017 and came up short on that occasion. But Kingad believes he is capable of beating the best fighters in the division and aims to end 2023 with a belt around his waist,

“My goal for 2023 is to get a good winning streak going. I’m coming off a loss so I have to get back on the winning track, start a winning streak and then become a world champion before the year ends.”