Many insiders had the flyweight match between local hero Danny Kingad and MIMMA Champion “Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman tipped as a potential ‘Fight of the Night’ at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY on Friday Night, 21 April.
The two mixed martial artists delivered on the excitement, but it was Kingad who earned the unanimous decision victory at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
“Jungle Cat,” who has an extensive amateur boxing background, came out using his footwork to try and close the distance and find angles on his opponent, but he paid the price when he got inside his opponent’s range.
The Malaysian returned the favor well, showing signs of his striking prowess with a hard counter left and some body kicks, but once the Baguio City man managed to close him down, his top control and ground and pound saw him dictate proceedings. Aiman was left playing a solely defensive game, trying to stave off punches, elbows, and knees to the head.
Rejuvenated to start the second, Aiman, a product of Bali MMA, came out on the offensive, but his enthusiasm saw him walk straight into the wrestling offense of Kingad. Again, the Team Lakay fighter used his positional dominance to dictate how the fight would take place.
Aiman almost brought out an inverted triangle from his bag of tricks, but more elbows and forearms soon rained down hard from the top, setting up a D'Arce attempt for Kingad before the end of another controlling round.
Dipping again into his bag of unorthodox attacks, “Jungle Cat” swung a hard spinning backfist that shocked his foe at the start of round three, but Kingad was able to recover by closing the distance. The battle of wills was won by the Filipino, who managed to work his way to top position again, albeit with less ground and pound output than the previous rounds.
In a final attempt to rescue something from the fight, the former MIMMA Champ came extremely close to an upset with a tight triangle and armbar combination. Kingad, buoyed by the ferocious crowd, held on and rallied to close the fight.Against a tough and unpredictable opponent, the highly-touted Team Lakay flyweight warrior remains undefeated.
Kingad pushes his record to 5-0, and is potentially on the cusp of great things. The “Jungle Cat,” meanwhile, drops to 2-2, but showed glimpses off his ability to finish a fight from anywhere.
There are plenty more exciting match-ups available for Aiman in ONE Championship’s flyweight division, and perhaps a potential rematch in the future.