Danny “The King” Kingad expects a vastly improved Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov when they finally face each other across the circle.
After two postponements, the No. 2 and No. 4-ranked flyweights will finally go at it in the main event of the previously taped ONE: Winter Warriors II, which airs on December 17 from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“Finally, right? I hope this pushes through this time,” Kingad said.
“It’s been years. I’ve been wanting to face him for a long time. Unfortunately, our match got canceled twice. Now it’s a different kind of excitement for me. I’m facing someone that I’ve always wanted to face.”
Since the cancellation, the former ONE flyweight world champion continued to work on his mixed martial arts prowess, as evident in his victories over No. 5-ranked Reece “Lightning” McLaren and “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim.
Known predominantly as a wrestler, the striking of the Kazakh training out of Tiger Muay Thai poses serious threats to anyone in the division. That improvement isn’t lost on the wushu dynamo from the Philippines.
“Even I noticed that his striking has been improving. I watched his last fight, and I got really excited because his improvement really impressed me,” the pride of Sadanga, Mountain Province noticed.
“He also said that he wants to strike with me, so I’m really motivated by that. I hope he knows that he’s facing a deadly striker.”
That might be a dangerous idea for the 34-year-old, Almaty-based fighter, especially since the striking game has always been Team Lakay’s bread and butter.
But if “The Kazakh” decides to try his luck, Kingad won’t have any problem with it.
“Maybe I’ll give him problems when we box. If he truly decides to strike with me, then he’s basically playing my game. That’s the match that I want, so I hope he knows what he wants.”
The 26-year-old Filipino sensation held off from predicting an outcome for his match but bared that he’s ready to take on Akhmetov wherever this match goes.
“I think it will be an exciting fight. I’ve been waiting for this and make no mistake about it, I’m ready to go toe-to-toe with him,” Kingad shared.
“I’m ready wherever the match goes, it can be in striking, or we can take it to the ground. I know I have a lot of weapons in store for him.”