Lito Adiwang is back in the circle in an attempt to recover from his recent loss but his prospective recovery comes at the expense of a rising Jeremy Miado.
ONE Championship made the rare decision of matching two Filipinos in a bout, paving way for this All-Pinoy matchup, the first of its kind since Joshua Pacio and Rene Catalan squared off for the ONE Strawweight championship on November 2019. The then 23-year old Pacio earned the first defense of his title by submitting his 40-year-old compatriot by an arm-triangle choke at 2:29 in round two.
Adiwang and Miado are currently riding different success rides at this point of their career although both fighters are looking to elevate themselves to elite fighter status in the stacked strawweight division.
Adiwang already cracked the ONE Official rankings twice, both placing #5 but ran into tough losses that took him out of the list.
Adiwang originally occupied the fifth spot when the first ever rankings were released in April, 2020 but he was taken off the list when he lost to Hiroba Minowa on November 13, 2020 under difficult circumstances that include he mother passing away.
The lost, which ended a seven-game streak, was fueled by a series of takedown moves by Minowa. He made the fight competitive but the judges gave the Japanese a close split-decision that was probably decided on a last minute flurry.
The 28-year-old then recovered with two impressive victories, a knock out of Namiki Kawahara on January 22, 2021 and a lopsided unanimous win over “Wolf Of The Grasslands” Hexigetu on September 24, 2021.
He was again reinstalled as the fifth top strawweight contender but was just as quickly taken off again when Jarred Brooks came calling.
Adiwang showed he can stand toe-to-toe with Brooks but the latter’s superb grappling and ground and pound led him to an arm triangle choke submission victory.
The end came with 3:07 left in the second round of their ONE: Next Gen III main event bout that aired November 26, 2021.
Adiwang, however, claimed he could have gotten Brooks’ number had an untimely lull in the action not happened.
Meanwhile, Miado is one who has finally made some progress after a tumultuous roller coaster ride since joining ONE Championship in 2017.
He finally strung together his first win streak in ONE. In addition, he has proven to be a lethal striker, evidenced by all four of his ONE Championship wins which came by way of knockouts.
Miado claim to fame so far came via back-to-back matches with Miao Li Tao.
“The Jaguar” delivered one of the most exciting finishes in ONE Championship history, a devastating first round knockout win over Miao back on November 2019.
Miado got to test his opponents temperature in the bout’s first three minutes before unleashed a killer jumping right knee that connected squarely on the latter’s jaw for the instant knockout.
He confirmed his assertion of mastery over Miao by repeating the knockout in their second fight on October 28, 2021.
Miado rained a barrage of punches to the head of a hapless Miao 50 seconds into the the second round to force the referee to halt the fight and win by technical knockout.
While Filipinos will generally feel awful on these situations, Adiwang and Miado are two exciting fighters that can generate a strike-filled and action-packed match which should entertain the fans.
While the Cordillerans will surely cheer for Adiwang, the split Filipino fanbase still have something to look forward to as this bout has a huge possibility of not going the distance and end sooner than expected.
Also seeing action in the event is Filipina Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga, who finally gets the one thing she had been wishing for quite sometime, another crack at “Arale Chan” Ham Seo Hee in a much anticipated rematch.
By Armando Bolislis