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Danny Kingad accepts Reece McLaren's challenge for rematch

Danny Kingad quickly said yes to Reece McLaren's challenge. ONE Championship (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--Former ONE World Title challenger Danny “The King” Kingad has heard Reece McLaren’s challenge loud and clear, and he’s ready to face the Australian star at a moment’s notice.

The latter called Kingad out following his first-round submission victory at ONE 158 over Xie Wei.

Kingad and McLaren faced each other once before, with “The King” taking home a close split decision in their August 2019 clash at ONE: Dawn of Heroes. It’s a rematch McLaren feels needs to happen.

On the other hand, the Team Lakay stalwart had no hesitation in accepting the challenge, and he wants it quick.

“I think he doesn’t believe that he lost in our first fight, that’s why he wants that rematch. Knowing Team Lakay and knowing myself, we’re not backing down from anyone. I’m ready if ever we fight each other again. Give me the date and place!” Kingad said.

McLaren, a natural grappler, has taken strides to upgrade his striking skills, working with legendary Muay Thai kickboxer John Wayne Parr recently at Boonchu Gym in Gold Coast. During his in-Circle interview with commentator Mitch Chilson, “Lightning” wasted no time and proposed a rematch against Kingad.

Kingad, who was watching from at home in Baguio City, shared his thoughts on McLaren’s most recent performance.

“An excellent performance from Reece! He was able to survive the killer right punch of Xie Wei. I was amazed and equally entertained by Reece. He really gave it his all during the fight and submit Xie Wei,” Kingad said.

Obviously, with their 2019 fight going the distance and with judges split down the middle, both men can make a solid claim for victory. However, it’s very clear that a rematch is more than warranted.

Fully embodying the Filipino warrior spirit, “The King” said he has no problems settling this matter in the Circle.

Danny Kingad brings lessons from his loss to Kairat Akhmetov

Kingad is the #4-ranked fighter in the stacked flyweight division and his 13 fights under ONE Championship featured some of the promotion’s top names.

The 26-year-old had a flying start in his ONE Championship tenure going 9-1 in his first 10 fights. Fighters who’ve fallen to Kingad include Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada, McLaren, and Senzo Ikeda.

But while he enjoyed a strong run of form at the start of his career, Kingad has hit a snag lately, going 1-2 in his past three fights. Those losses, however, were against the elite of the sport. 

Kingad lost to the legendary Demetrious Johnson via unanimous decision in the final of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix at ONE: Century Part I in October 2019. His last loss was a unanimous decision defeat against former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II in December 2021.

True to his craft, Kingad said he’s bringing valuable experience after his loss to Akhmetov and he plans to use it against McLaren.

“Yes, my loss against Kairat taught me a lot. I saw a lot of areas that I need to work on after my last match. You can say my would-be fight with Reece, if ONE Championship will make it happen, is a kind of redemption match for me, but the most vital thing to do is answer Reece’s call-out,” Kingad said.

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