ONE: Bigger opportunity comes Danny Kingad’s way

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ONE: Bigger opportunity comes Danny Kingad’s way
Danny Kingad (R) of the Philippines battles champion Adriano Moraes of Brazil for the ONE Championship world flyweight title in November here in Manila. -- ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

EXPRESSED disappointment over the cancellations of a supposed fight earlier this year, Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Danny “The King” Kingad has his patience rewarded before 2017 comes to a close as ONE Championship decided to give him a shot at the world flyweight title in November.

Supposedly to face Hexigetu of China first in July, which was later moved to August, until the Chinese’s camp decided to pull out from the fight altogether, Mr. Kingad (5-0) finally caught a break as Asia’s largest sports media property has given him the opportunity to vie for the title currently held by returning champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil.

Mr. Kingad will get his shot at “ONE: Legends of the World” here in Manila on Nov. 10 which will be headlined by the “super fight” between ONE champions Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and Martin “Situ-Asian” Nguyen for the former’s lightweight title.

“I really wanted the fight [against Hexigetu] to push through as I was preparing hard for it,” said Mr. Kingad in an interview with BusinessWorld back in August in Macau, China, when the special administrative region hosted a ONE event there.

“But I guess it has a purpose. Maybe it’s a way of telling me to prepare for something bigger,” he added.

And sure enough “something bigger” came his way early this week as ONE announced that he will battle Mr. Moraes for the flyweight crown in the added co-main event at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It was one of the added bouts for ONE’s 11th stop in the country since 2012, which included those of fellow Team Lakay stalwarts Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio in strawweight and Gina “Conviction” Iniong against separate opponents.

Mr. Kingad has gone 3-0 in ONE Championship, with his last victory coming over Muhammad Aiman in April by way of unanimous decision.

Brazilian Moraes (16-2), for his part, reclaimed the flyweight title after a thorough victory over erstwhile champion Kairat Akhmetov in August in Macau by way of a unanimous decision and is looking to extend his reign as champion.

“I’m ready for the top fighters in my division. I’m willing to go to battle when the opportunity comes and I’m going to do my best,” Mr. Kingad shared. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo