KEY POINTS

  • Danny Kingad reveals what he was working on during his long layoff
  • Kairat Akhmetov is yet to pull off a submission victory in ONE Championship
  • Kingad was advised by Akhmetov's former Team Lakay opponent to utilize his wrestling

Danny Kingad is itching to make his return to the cage, and the almost two-year-long layoff has put him in a good spot to succeed against Kairat Akhmetov.

When asked by the media about his fight with Akhmetov, the 26-year-old Filipino dissected how their date at ONE: Winter Warriors II would go.

“I think I can attack him on all facets of the game, whether via striking, grappling or on the ground because that’s what I have been preparing for here at our gym [Team Lakay]. We’re really not afraid of any one style of fighting because we can also do what they can,” Kingad revealed.

Their matchup has already been canceled twice as Akhmetov pulled out of their semifinal matchup during the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix in 2019 due to an injury, while Kingad’s camp were all stricken with COVID-19 in December 2020.

Kingad had not stepped into the cage since his unanimous decision victory over China’s Xie Wei in January 2020, but he is not worried about any perceived notions of ring rust since he and his team have remained active after they were cleared to train again.

The No. 4-ranked flyweight is not unfamiliar to the rest of Team Lakay as he had already fought Filipino veteran Geje Eustaquio twice, with one win apiece.

Kingad was asked about the advice that Eustaquio gave him, and the No. 2-ranked flyweight was told to rely on his wrestling since that is his biggest strength.

“I’m a hundred percent confident in my wrestling skills. We train wrestling here every day at the gym even if we don’t necessarily have a fight. We’re always out to work on our skills and to continue improving on them in preparation for whoever we face next,” Kingad told the media while beaming.

Akhmetov is a well-regarded submission artist, notching 10 of his 24 victories that way, but all of his victories in ONE Championship has been through decision.

Despite that, his track record speaks for itself and could surprise “The King” with multiple submission attempts should the fight go to the ground.

Kingad will be joined by his Team Lakay brothers in Kevin Belingon, Stephen Loman and Jhanlo Sangiao at the December event.

ONE: Winter Warriors II will be recorded at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on December 3 and will be aired live via tape delay on December 17.

ONE: Winter Warriors II Card ONE: Winter Warriors II will be airing via tape delay on December 17. Photo: ONE Championship