ONE Championship recently announced that its inaugural event in Surabaya, Indonesia, ONE: Conquest Of Kings, has been rescheduled and postponed till further notice due to logistical issues.
Danny “The King” Kingad was supposed to see action in the July 29 event against Mongolia’s Hexigetu. Instead, these two warriors will meet at the ONE: Quest for Greatness card on August 18 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where fellow Team Lakay stablemates Kevin Belingon and Edward Kelly are slated to see action, according to head coach Mark Sangiao in a Facebook post.
Kingad, undefeated in five professional fights, three of them in a ONE cage, believed this match will be certain in the bag and could be his stepping-stone to the upper echelon of ONE Championship’s 61.2-kilogram weight class.
“It will be an exciting fight… I cannot say I will knock him out, but I can only say I will win this fight,” Kingad confidently stated then.
Interestingly, the postponed card was to feature Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov and Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes, arguably two of the most outstanding flyweights in the world today, slugging for the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Championship title in the main event.
Kingad remains optimistic that the ONE Flyweight World Championship belt will be fastened around his waist someday.
“I am a fighter who always wishes to give you the best entertainment and the best show you will ever see inside the cage. I just want to savor each moment. That belt will be mine in God’s time,” he ended.
Meanwhile, Filipino submission specialist Eric “The Natural” Kelly finds himself in familiar situation in facing Japanese veteran Kotetsu “No Face” Boku on the undercard of ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS in Macao, China on 5 August.
Kelly has been described as a lone wolf because he has never had an established MMA team and hops from one gym to another.
And Kelly intends to stick with the training regimen that he is used to although he acknowledged that a reliable support team in his bouts is missing.
“For me, I train more naturally when I don’t have a stable gym where I train full-time. Whichever gym I find myself in, that’s where I train. Mostly, I just watch YouTube videos and apply it to my training and then I go to some gyms to test it out. I am in the constant search for more knowledge for my career,” Kelly recalled.
Kelly has been seen diligently grinding at various local gyms in Baguio while allotting time to make a trip down to Metro Manila to train in the city’s elite fight camps.
The 35-year-old Cordilleran bared that numerous MMA groups have offered and extended their helping hands as he prepares for his return to the ONE Championship cage, including an invite from Mark Sangiao and Team Lakay.
“Yes, he personally invited me to join Team Lakay. But we will talk about it. I see it as a great opportunity,” he said.
Kelly and Sangiao are acquainted with each other as both men worked together in the Philippine national Wushu squad from 2001 to 2004.
According to Kelly, the only thing that hinders him from donning the Team Lakay’s bright red trunks is he does not want to be isolated in a particular team.
“I just don’t want to be stuck in one team. As much as possible, I want to explore all styles and forms of fighting. But I am open to all possibilities. Never say never in this sport. Mark and I will talk about it,” he shared.
Kelly acknowledged that his striking background can greatly improve with Team Lakay to compliment his superb grappling pedigree.
“I am looking to sharpen my skills in the stand-up department. I already have a good ground game, but I have to back it up with an outstanding striking. I know I can achieve that with Team Lakay,” he asserted.
Kelly, however, opts to do it in his own way for now as he seeks to break a two-fight losing skid.
“I have been doing this for the past eight years. I am still confident as to how I conduct my training. It has given me success in the past. I still believe that it will give me the success in my upcoming fight. It all boils down to discipline,” he ended.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS