February 1, 2023

Former ONE Championship title challenger Danny Kingad has heard Reece McLaren’s challenge loud and clear, and he is ready to face the Australian-Filipino star at a moment’s notice.

The latter called Kingad out following his first-round submission victory against Xie Wei at ONE 158.

ANYTIME, ANYWHERE — Former ONE flyweight title contender Danny Kingad of Team Lakay said he is ready to fight Australian-Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Reece McLaren for the second time after he won via split decision against the latter in the first encounter in August 2019. Recently, McLaren has called Kingad out to even the score. — ONE photo

Kingad and McLaren faced each other once before, with the Team Lakay fighter taking home a close split decision in their August 2019 clash at ONE: Dawn of Heroes. It’s a rematch McLaren feels needs to happen.

On the other hand, the Team Lakay stalwart had no hesitation in accepting the challenge, and he wants it quick.

“I think he does not believe that he lost in our first fight, that’s why he wants that rematch. Knowing Team Lakay and knowing myself, we’re not backing down from anyone. I’m ready if ever we fight each other again. Give me the date and place,” Kingad said.

McLaren, a natural grappler, has taken strides to upgrade his striking skills, working with legendary Muay Thai kickboxer John Wayne Parr recently at Boonchu Gym in Gold Coast.

“An excellent performance from Reece. He was able to survive the killer right punch of Xie Wei. I was amazed and equally entertained by Reece. He really gave it his all during the fight and submit Xie Wei,” Kingad said.

Kingad is the fourth-ranked fighter in the stacked flyweight division and his 13 fights under ONE Championship featured some of the promotion’s top names.

The 26-year-old had a flying start in his ONE Championship tenure going 9-1 in his first 10 fights. Fighters who’ve fallen to Kingad include Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada, McLaren, and Senzo Ikeda.

Kingad lost to the legendary Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision in the final of the ONE flyweight world Grand Prix in October 2019. His last loss was a unanimous decision defeat against former ONE flyweight world champion KairatAkhmetov in December 2021.

True to his craft, Kingad said he’s bringing valuable experience after his loss to Akhmetov and he plans to use it against McLaren. – Harley F. Palangchao