Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad, ranked second flyweight contender, is ready for another crack at reigning ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes of Brazil, who easily beat him four years ago.
The Brazilian champion continues to cement his legacy as one of the best mixed martial arts fighters in the world today following his upset win against former long-time Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight king Demetrius Johnson.
The pair squared off four years ago, as Moraes retained his belt via first-round rear-naked choke.
This time, the 25-year-old Kingad believes he has improved since that defeat and would have a better shot to dethrone the Brazilian grappling wizard this time around.
“Compared to the man who faced him back then, I’m a lot different. I’ve gained a lot of experience since that match, and I know that I’m ready for the world title shot,” said Kingad, who has gone 7-1 in the division since his world title challenge, only falling to 12-time MMA champion Johnson in the ONE flyweight world Grand Prix final.
Johnson then challenged Moraes for the flyweight gold, but he was knocked out for the first time in his storied career – a loss that may have opened the door for Kingad to get the next opportunity.
Kingad plans to showcase not only his personal development, but also that of Team Lakay as a whole. The famous squad from Baguio and Benguet has risen from its humble beginnings and now features a world-class training center.
Of course, there are always backup plans, and if the clash with Moraes doesn’t come to fruition, Kingad has another top flyweight contender in his crosshairs. – Harley F. Palangchao