Danny “The King” Kingad picked up one of the most impressive victories of his career on Saturday, 23 June.
The 22-year-old Baguio City, Philippines native defeated Chinese National Wrestling Champion “The Southern Eagle” Ma Hao Bin via unanimous decision in a flyweight bout at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER.
Kingad started the bout aggressively, but his strikes were countered with a takedown, and Ma took his back in the blink of an eye. The 24-year-old Chinese grappler got his hooks in, but was too low to threaten with a submission.
The pair scrambled for position, which enabled Kingad to switch into side mount. From there, he launched a heavy attack with elbows and knees to the head.
Ma tried to recover position, but Kingad sprawled, and then landed a knee as the pair stood up. A fantastic first round ended with the Filipino controlling the distance and finding some success with his kicks.
The second stanza began in the same way, with “The King” controlling the range with hard kicks, and Ma always looking to counter with a quick overhand right.
The action was paused twice in succession, as two Kingad inside leg kicks accidentally landed below the belt. When the contest finally resumed, the flyweights attacked each other in some wild exchanges.
The Filipino then threatened with a choke, but Ma wriggled free. The rest of the round mostly took place on the feet, with Kingad leaning on his kicking game. His Chinese adversary continued to counter with punches and initiated more grappling exchanges.
Ma began the final frame with a takedown, but Kingad stayed active with punches, before he was again able to reverse position into side mount and resume his ground attack.
“The Southern Eagle” found his way back to his feet and was able to take control of his opponent’s back, but Kingad launched a sensational submission attempt by rolling for a kneebar. Ma, however, was able to escape.
Despite the exertions from both men, the closing moments of the match-up ended with some incredible scrambles. They were met with excited roars from the crowd inside the Studio City Event Center, as the two warriors pushed to make a decisive impression on the judges.
Ultimately, the verdict decisively went in Kingad’s favor, and the Filipino picked up his second consecutive win after his unsuccessful World Title challenge against Adriano Moraes last November.
“The King” improves his mixed martial arts record to 10-1, and with an outstanding performance against strong opposition, he takes several huge steps forward in his quest to get another shot at the gold.