ONE Championship will return on the 31st of January, with ONE: Fire and Fury. The event will be headlined by a strawweight title fight between Joshua Pacio (18-3) and Alex Silva (9-4). Although, the most interesting fight on the card is Danny Kingad (13-2) vs Wei Xie (5-2).
At the ripe young age of 24, Danny ‘The King’ Kingad was on the precipice of a second title shot. That was before his unanimous decision loss last time out, against a fighter who many believe to be the greatest flyweight, if not the greatest MMA fighter of all time, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson (30-3-1). Before his loss to Johnson, Kingad (13-2) had won six straight fights, with all six victories coming by the way of a decision.
Kingad’s only other loss came in his 8th pro fight, via rear-naked choke, 4 minutes and 45 seconds into the first round, when challenged for the title against, the current champion, Adriano Moraes (18-3). If the Team Lakay ace does manage to leave Manila victorious after ONE: Fire and Fury, on the 31st of January, he will put himself straight back into title contention.
However, managing to leave Manila victorious will be no easy task for Kingad, as he will have rising Chinese star Wei Xie standing across from him inside of the squared circle. Xie has had a miraculous turn around in his career. Xie started his career off going 0-2, with both losses coming via decision. Now, he has won his last five fights, stopping all five of his opponents.
The even more exciting statistic for Xie is that his last three wins were not just stoppages, they were also all first-round finishes. Two of which came via ground and pound and the other coming by the way of a knee and punches.
Xie may have made easy work of his last five opponents, but they were nowhere near as experienced or skilled as Kingad. There is no doubt that Xie required a step up in competition, but some might feel that Kingad is too much of a step up at this moment in Xie’s career.
The only way to tell if Kingad does prove to be too big of a step up in class for Xie will be to watch the fight at ONE: Fire and Fury, on January 31st.
What Would a Win Mean for Each Fighter?
If Xie wins he will likely need another victory over a top opponent before securing a title shot, regardless of who is champion. Whereas, if Kingad wins, on the other hand, he is likely to be booked in a rematch against Moraes next. Whether that rematch is once again for the title depends on the result of Moraes vs Johnson at ONE: Reign of Dynasties, on April 11th, in Chongqing, China.
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