Team Lakay ace Danny “The King” Kingad had no regrets in 2019, despite dropping a decision loss to the legendary Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Finals.
Kingad was one of eight elite participants in the high-profile tournament. The Baguio City native powered through Senzo Ikeda in the quarter-final round before earning a close split decision verdict over Australian Reece McLaren in the semis. That set up the final showdown with Johnson at last October’s ONE: CENTURY event.
For Kingad, facing Johnson was truly a memorable experience and one that he would love to relive at some point down the line.
“My favorite bout for this year is definitely the Grand Prix Finals with Demetrious [Johnson], Kingad said.
“That match was special because it is an exclusive tournament and we both worked hard to reach the finals. After learning that Demetrious is joining the flyweight division last year, I got excited and wished to have a match with him. With the Grand Prix, I was able to realize that dream.”
Although Kingad definitely aimed for victory, “Mighty Mouse” proved just a tad bit too dominant for the young Filipino warrior. Of course, Johnson is widely-regarded as the best in the sport pound-for-pound, and has years of experience on the younger Kingad.
Kingad has accepted defeat, but also used failure to help him realize areas of improvement.
“I honestly admit that Demetrious deserved that win,” Kingad said.
“He is very technical and knows how to get the scores in each move he makes. He did not waste any opportunity to get a point each time he strikes and when we were on the ground. I can’t help but be impressed with his fight IQ.”
But despite losing to Johnson, Kingad believes he has been the American’s toughest test in ONE Championship thus far.
“I think I am the most challenging opponent he faced so far here with ONE Championship,” Kingad concluded.
“We both had fun and brought the match to the distance. I am working on improving my skills to make sure that the next meeting will have a different result. I am currently focused on preparing for my next match but I hope that I would have another chance to share the ONE Circle with him.”
Kingad returns to action at ONE: FIRE & FURY, where he meets China’s Xie Wei at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 31 January. Johnson, on the other hand, is expected to face ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes sometime in 2020. The bout has yet to be officially announced.