Danny "The King" Kingad will have to wait a little longer before attempting to climb higher in the flyweight division of ONE Championship.
Kingad was supposed to take on former flyweight champion Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov on Friday at ONE: Big Bang in Singapore, but the promotion scrapped the fight after a Team Lakay cornerman tested positive for the coronavirus disease.
This was the second time a matchup between Kingad, currently no. 2 in the divisional rankings, and Akhmetov was postponed.
"When I knew that I would be fighting against Kairat, I felt so excited," Kingad told ESPN5.com. "I trained hard for this bout, I was ready to face him since we planned to fight in the Grand Prix back then, but he got an injury so it was canceled."
Kingad has a lot riding on a face-off against the fighter from Kazakhstan. If he is able to dispatch Akhmetov, Kingad could find himself going up against the winner of a title showdown between current ONE flyweight titleholder Adriano Moraes and former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Although Kingad (14-2), of course, would love a shot at any one of both fighters -- who are incidentally the only ones he has ever lost to in his entire MMA career -- the 25-year-old Filipino is still entirely focused on taking care of business first against Akhmetov.
"It was just postponed. I will still fight him soon. Nothing changed, just the timing. I'm still training hard, continuing to improve all the skills and our game plan," he said.
While Team Lakay awaits word from ONE regarding a new schedule for the Kingad-Akhmetov bout, head coach Mark Sangiao said they are continuously taking every precautionary measure possible in order to avoid any more infections.
"With regard to protocols, we have our logbook, temperature checks, and a disinfectant mat, then we limit people allowed in the gym during training," he said. "And we always check and ask anyone to not go to the gym if they feel any symptom."
"And if before there's only one schedule for training, now we divided it into three brackets so the number is distributed," Sangiao added.
In lieu of the Kingad-Akhmetov fight is a strawweight bout between no. 3 contender Filipino fighter Rene Catalan and South Africa's Bokang "Little Giant" Masunyane.
The 41-year-old Catalan (6-3, 1 no contest) will fight for the first time in over a year after losing to current champion Joshua Pacio, while the unbeaten Masunyane (8-0) is looking for his second win in the ONE Circle.
ONE: Big Bang will be telecast live on One Sports on Dec. 4 starting at 8:30 p.m.