Despite tasting misfortune for the first time in ONE Championship this year, “Mini T” Danial Williams used 2022 to make his mark.
The flyweight entered the promotion in 2021 in the toughest of circumstances, losing a unanimous decision to ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon, though he made a good account of himself in doing so.
Williams’ 2022 saw a much brighter light shine through. In his return to MMA, he began a three-fight winning streak with a second-round knockout of former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke to set the ball rolling at ONE: BAD BLOOD.
ALSO READ | 3 ONE Championship Fights We Want To See In 2023
The Perth native followed up with a unanimous decision victory against Namiki Kawahara at ONE 156 before picking up the biggest win of his career against Zelang Zhaxi two months later at ONE 159, stopping the Chinese standout with a blistering first-round knockout.
However, Williams slipped in his most recent outing in October, suffering a third-round knockout stoppage to Jeremy Miado.
All in all, the Australian leaves 2022 with a sense of satisfaction, having risen up the strawweight mixed martial arts division to become the #5-ranked contender following a multitude of thrilling bouts.
“It’s been a big learning year,” Williams said. “I impressed some with my performances and disappointed some with my last one. It was good to be active, that was what I wanted. I’m very blessed to be active and get fights.”
While Williams has seen success in the MMA world, his bread and butter still calls out to him.
The strawweight striking superstar eyes a return to Muay Thai action in 2023, and as the #5-ranked contender in “the art of eight limbs,” “Mini T” anticipates gold around his waist within the next 12 months.
“The goal was to get as many fights as I could. As I said, I always had a three-year plan coming into ONE. Got two years now. My three-year plan was the MMA title and in between was a striking title,” he said.
“I think everything is still going to plan. I’m confident with how everything has gone. I didn’t finish the year as I planned, but I learned from it as well.
ALSO READ | 3 ONE Championship stars that retired in 2022
“I definitely want the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title. I feel that’s mine for the taking this year. In a perfect world, it would be a Muay Thai World Title fight, then a champion-versus-champion fight with kickboxing, and then the Miado rematch. That would be the ultimate 2023.”