Keys to Victory for #TeamKingad
First of all, let’s give credit where credit is due. Chatri Sityodtong, you are one awesome CEO. When ONE Championship announced that they signed MMA superstars Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, I honestly thought that their exposure would be limited to ONE’s US, Japan, and Singapore presence. Not even a year later, we were able to watch BOTH Mighty Mouse and Alvarez fight live on Philippine soil. So again, Chatri, thank you.
Perhaps the biggest news from Dawn of Heroes is that Danny Kingad and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson are set to face each other for the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix finals in Japan at ONE: CENTURY this October 13. “The King” won a split decision over Reece McLaren while Johnson decisioned a very game Tatsumitsu Wada in a grappling masterclass. McLaren was actually winning before he gassed in the third, where Kingad’s high-altitude conditioning paid dividends with a third-round comeback that sealed the victory. Mighty Mouse’s slashing elbow was the critical factor that caused the most significant damage – a cut on Wada’s forehead – in their three-round war.
Danny Kingad was all praises for Reece McLaren prior to their match at Dawn of Heroes, even stating that McLaren was one of his idols. You could just imagine what good things he’ll have to say about the 12-time UFC flyweight champion leading to their October clash. Whether this admiration would lead Kingad to train his effing hardest or require a need to set this idol worship aside to focus on the prize, the young Lakay and his entire team will have to figure things out soonest as no doubt Mighty Mouse is already back in the gym training for their showdown.
And while (almost) every Filipino is #TeamKingad on this one, let’s look at the keys for Danny “The King” Kingad to increase his probability of bringing that shiny Grand Prix belt home on October.
Shout out to Fight Game Asia for this awesome digital poster.
#1 Height and Reach Advantage
Danny Kingad enjoys a 5-cm height advantage over Mighty Mouse. Practically everyone has a height and reach advantage over Mighty Mouse, even at flyweight. But, no one has ever capitalized on this advantage, perhaps because DJ nullifies this with his speed and clinch game. An advantage is still an advantage, and “The King” should make full use of this by rounding out his stand up and take down defense.
Folayang Defends while Kingad Ascends Divisional Summit
A scenario where three Filipinos fighters are ONE Championship titleholders is possible come November 10, as Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang and Danny Kingad are set to defend home soil for ONE: Legends of the World at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
However, the two fighters from Baguio will be coming into their respective fights under opposite circumstances. The 22-year-old Kingad will be looking to reach the flyweight division’s apex, while Folayang, reigning lightweight champ, will try to remain on top of the mountain.
The King’s Conquest
Perfect record vs title – This will be the theme of the co-main event as the undefeated Kingad, 5-0, will try to dethrone Brazilian flyweight champ Adriano Moraes who has been on a winning streak of own, finishing two out of his last three fights by way of submission.
The challenger arguably has the greater momentum coming into the bout, as he has yet to taste defeat in the course of his young career.
“You’re not the champion until you defend the belt.”
Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang just satisfied UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes’ requirement to be a true champion. The Filipino MMA hero claimed victory against a very intense foe in Kiwi-Malaysian Ev Ting in a five-round war of attrition at ONE: Kings of Destiny. Making the night sweeter is Lakay teammates Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario, Danny Kingad, and Gina Iniong’s wins, leading to a 5-0 sweep for the mythical Baguio-based team.
We saw a familiar “Landslide” last night, unafraid to throw kicks and back fists against an opponent who similarly enjoys trading shots. “E.T.” was a bit gun shy at first, but things picked up within the round, eventually culminating in a five-round classic.
Eduard Folayang was bloodied by Round 3, but continued to pour it against Ev Ting for five rounds.
Folayang essentially relied on his striking and improved grappling to establish three layers of offense against the taller Ting. From the get go, he looked to keep his distance with straight side, roundhouse, and spinning wheel kicks. In contrast to Ev’s headhunting tendencies, Folayang tried to play an endurance game with leg and body kicks that typically pay dividends at the latter rounds. They are also more efficient in terms of output: Head kicks take more energy to execute, more so against a taller opponent.
A straight side kick from Folayang.
A spinning wheel kick towards Ev Ting’s midsection.