Danny Kingad, ONE Championship
Danny Kingad is pushing forward during a bout. ONE Championship


  • Danny Kingad will make his return to the ONE Championship cage against Eko Roni Saputra
  • Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao believes they have prepared him as best they can
  • Kingad previously admitted to feeling a sense of pressure entering the bout

Team Lakay flyweight star Danny Kingad is set to step inside the ONE Championship cage for the first time in nearly two years to face Indonesia's Eko Roni Saputra at ONE Fight Night 7 this coming Saturday, February 25 (Friday, February 24 in the United States).

With the amount of time that he has missed coupled with the possibility of him losing his place on the rankings by falling to Saputra, one would think that pressure has to play a role at some point during training camp.

But when Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao was asked by the International Business Times during a virtual press conference about it, he jovially said that he has not seen the upcoming bout affecting Kingad's preparation whatsoever.

"Based on what I'm seeing from him in his training and sparring sessions, I never saw the pressure in him or maybe that's what's motivating him right now. He's particularly engaged in training. I can really see him preparing for this fight," Sangiao mentioned.

The Filipino's last foray in the cage saw him take on Kairat Akhmetov in a losing effort on December 3, 2021 at ONE: Winter Warriors 2.

Akhmetov relied heavily on his wrestling to stifle Kingad's stand-up game, and it worked to perfection as the Kazakh worked his way towards a unanimous decision victory.

In a previous interview with IBTimes sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano, Kingad admitted that he was feeling some pressure as Saputra is not a ranked fighter.

Saputra's fighting style is similar to that of Akhmetov's penchant for grappling with five submissions to his name including a keylock submission win over Murugan Silvarajoo in October 2020 and heel hook finish of Yodkaikaew "Y2K" Fairtex in his latest fight in the same month last year.

However, an understated aspect of his game is the knockout power that he carries in his hands with his 10-second knockout of Liu Peng Shuai back in July 2021.

Regarding the Indonesian's knockout power, Sangiao noted that they are more than ready for this.

The Team Lakay lynchpin believes that fans will be treated to a stand-up-only special.

"Eko Roni Saputra's record has him winning five bouts by submission and he definitely has knockout power in his hands, but his bread-and-butter is in wrestling and grappling. We're prepping Danny's skills on the ground as best we can. I think these two will engage in striking more, though," Sangiao told the media.

Raring to regain the top flyweight status, the No. 3-ranked Kingad knows he must put on a convincing win against Saputra at ONE Fight Night 7, which will take place at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Sangiao has full confidence that his ward will get to do just that this weekend.

"I can see in him that he's ready for this fight. I saw the Danny of old–the one who's always raring to fight. We're positive in what we see as our advantages in this fight, so there's a big chance of us winning here," the trainer stated.

Danny Kingad
Danny Kingad has a potential title eliminator bout against Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan at ONE: Winter Warriors II. ONE Championship