ONE Kickboxer Danial Williams Embracing Grappling in Return to MMA

ONE
February 16, 2024
Danial Williams has faced some of the best in the world in muay thai and kickboxing, so no matter the ruleset, “Mini T” is coming to fight.

That’s why he has zero qualms about facing Lito Adiwang in a strawweight mixed martial arts match at ONE Fight Night 19 on Feb. 16 at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.

A run at the ONE Championship strawweight MMA title couldn’t come at a better time for the 30-year-old Williams. Last year, he fell short in back-to-back fights against ONE flyweight kickboxing champ Superlek Kiatmoo9 and strawweight kickboxing champion Jonathan Di Bella but took away valuable lessons from both contests.

Williams hung valiantly for three rounds despite taking his fight against Superlek on five days' notice. In his match against Di Bella, Williams ferociously chopped away at the champions’ legs but fell short on the cards. In both matches, Williams realized that traditional kickboxers would have the edge in their discipline, but his versatility could take him to new heights in MMA.

“I do want to be good in each discipline, but I’ve learned that it’s better to stick with one discipline at a time,” Williams told Sherdog.com “I could fight in them all and take away a lot of learning curves, but I’d need to spend more time in one discipline to go all the way to the top.”

Williams dedicated last year to striking, but he’s eager to show off his wrestling against Adiwang. The Australian-Thai star said that he’s spent the last three months since the Di Bella fight on the mats and is more prepared than ever for the transition back to MMA.After starting his fighting career in Muay Thai, wrestling didn’t come easy to him, but he’s learned from his mistakes and found new ways to finish fights.

“I’ve really enjoyed the wrestling game,” Williams said. I’ve kind of smashed my head against the wall with why it’s taken me eight pro fights for me to really get on top of my weakness … after I did my first wrestling class, I thought, ‘damn, I was in this position before in one of my fights. Oh crap, that’s how I get out.”

Adiwang won’t be an easy opponent to test the waters against. “Thunder Kid” has won his last two fights and is coming off a decision win over Jeremy Miado. Miado knocked out Williams in Oct. 2022 and put Williams on his current three-fight skid.

Although Williams hasn’t won a fight since July of 2022, he’s not discouraged. His come-forward, high-output style makes him a fan favorite, and he loves to perform. Adiwang provides another chance to do what he loves most, and he’ll accept the opportunity smiling.

“I love being in there, and I tell my family whatever happens in there, I love every part of it,” Williams said. “Even if I get stopped, at least to that point, I was having the best time doing what I love. I’m just so grateful to be healthy, and I’m still young, passionate and still learning, man. I’m just getting started.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/ONE-Kickboxer-Danial-Williams-Embracing-Grappling-in-Return-to-MMA-192625

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