Former ONE Flyweight World Title challenger Danny “The King” Kingad has been in a roll since joining the ONE Championship banner three years ago.
The 23-year-old Baguio City native has collected eight impressive wins in The Home of Martial Arts and just lost once when he fought Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil for the ONE Flyweight World Title.
But his team of experts in Team Lakay believes that his fellow semi-finalist at the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov will be one of Kingad’s hardest challenges in his young mixed martial arts career.
Kingad and Akhmetov are set to clash in the semi-finals of the aforementioned eight-man tournament with the winner will move to finals and meet the victor of the other semi-final match between Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada.
For head coach Mark Sangiao, Akhmetov has shown tons of improvement in his game which was very evident in his previous battles.
“Kairat has certainly improved a lot, especially when it comes to his wrestling,” said Sangiao,
“He’s become a lot tougher and we’ve also seen him outclass Reece McLaren in the striking department of their last fight. This is a different Akhmetov now.”
Akhmetov is a three-time National Greco-Roman Champion in Kazakhstan and also captured regional championships in taekwondo.
The 31-year-old native of Almaty, Kazakhstan started his professional martial arts career in perfect fashion by winning his first 19 bouts, before joining the stacked ONE Championship roster in November 2015 and won the ONE Flyweight World Title in his first match when he defeated Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil.
With 23 impressive wins out of his 25 matches, his only two defeats came from World Champions Moraes and Kingad’s Team Lakay comrade Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio.
But despite the tough assignment ahead, Sangiao is still confident with Kingad, and believes that facing Akhmetov will bring out the best of the Team Lakay phenom.
“I don’t have any problems with Danny because he’s a hard worker,” Sangiao said.
“Every fight, he aims to improve. He really wants to become a champion, and I know in my heart that he’ll go far in this sport.”