Danny “The King” Kingad considered 2019 a banner year despite falling short of winning a ONE Championship crown.
He hopes to build on the successes of 2019 to finally earn that shot in 2020.
He opened the year with a unanimous decision victory over Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in January. The 24-year-old earned a spot in the loaded ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.
In March, the Team Lakay product beat Pancrase Flyweight World Champion Senzo Ikeda in the quarterfinals via unanimous decision. He then edged former ONE World Title challenger Reece “Lightning” McLaren in the semifinal round through split decision.
Kingad then faced Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who may be one of the greatest pound-for-pound mixed martial artists of all time.
The Filipino went the distance against Johnson in a thrilling battle. The American won a unanimous victory.
Two months from that epic contest in the Japanese capital, Kingad can look back and express his admiration for Johnson and his gratitude for having fought a legend.
“The experience was very exciting, and I was really happy because I was given a chance to be a part of it. What made it extra special was that I got all the way to the finals. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take home the top prize,” said Kingad.
“There are a lot of people who could only dream about facing him in the Circle, but I was lucky enough to have had that chance. He is a really exciting opponent, and I learned a lot from just competing against him.”
Kingad said that years ago the closest he got to battling the legendary Johnson was playing against him as a character in a video game. Actually standing in front of the MMA icon was the experience of a lifetime for Kingad.