Danny “The King” Kingad, 23, of the Philippines is gearing up to face Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Reece “Lightning” McLaren, 27, of Australia at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The Filipino mixed martial artist will be one of five athletes from Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines who will see action on the card.
As a young boy, Kingad was a troubled teen treading on the wrong path. During his senior year of high school, he was course-corrected after joining Team Lakay, where he was groomed to become an excellent athlete and a role model.
“Being a member of Team Lakay has played a huge factor in my improvement not only as an athlete but as a human being as well,” Kingad shared. “Prior to joining the team, I knew very little about martial arts apart from the basic kicks and punches. Under the guidance of my coach, I learned proper execution as well as other skills such as grappling, submission wrestling, fluid striking and others.”
“When I was young, I was in a very bad crowd and it had a negative impact on my life,” Kingad continued. “Team Lakay helped me out of that dark place and taught me values like respect and honor, and I generally became a better person.”
Also from Team Lakay, Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 35, Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, 35, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, 30, and Honorio “The Rock” Banario, 29, are also on the “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” card. Training five athletes simultaneously may seem like an overwhelming task for Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao but the team’s discipline and teamwork makes his job easier and more efficient.
While Kingad does his best to maximize training, he finds some advantages in training in a group setting. He said, “Personally, I think having five of us Team Lakay members competing on the same card is advantageous.”
“Everyone’s always at the gym training and we’re all focused and determined to be in the best condition possible,” Kingad continued. “We know we are all individually responsible for the outcome of our bouts, so we help each other get to where we want to be.”
“At the event, it serves a huge boost to our morale knowing that we have family cheering us on from our corners, no matter the result,” Kingad added. “I can say our bond at Team Lakay is unbreakable.”
Kingad is on the rise and continues to rack up wins. He is only expected to shine brighter in Manila when he performs alongside his Team Lakay brothers in front of their countrymen.
If Kingad is able to defeat McLaren at “ONE: Dawn of Heroes,” the Filipino contender will move on to the final round of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. The other grand finalist will be either Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 32, of the United States or atsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada, 30, of Japan.
Meanwhile, here is an interview with Kingad in 2018: