Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang may have dropped out of the strawweight official rankings but his being a worthy title contender should not be in doubt. Especially with the mindset he currently has.
“You’re only as good as your last fight” is an ode many great athletes had lived by during their career. Adiwang also does, understanding that people will only rate him based on his last performance.
That makes him a very prepared and dangerous opponent for “Wolf of the Grasslands” Hexigetu at ONE: REVOLUTION this September 24.
The ONE Super Series winner vows to not only show how much he has learned but parade the best version of himself inside the ONE Circle.
It certainly doesn’t hurt either that Adiwang is coming off a stupendous win against Deep Strawweight Champion Namiki Kawahara at ONE: UNBREAKABLE last January, showcasing his striking prowess with a second-round knockout victory.
“I’m definitely happy with my performance against Namiki,” he shared as he displayed his lethal and pinpoint striking in that match that led to the referee calling for the bell at the 2:03 mark of Round Two.
It was a magnificent bounce back win for Adiwang, who was coming off a shock split decision loss to Hiroba Minowa at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III on November last year.
Since tasting that setback, the former Philippine National Wushu Champion has slowly rebuilt his stock starting from that win over Kawahara, one that he’s leaning in the leadup to this showdown against Hexigetu.
“I can say that I have regained my confidence. Since that win over Namiki, my focus has just been on an uphill climb that I’m so excited to get back and fight inside the ONE Circle,” he said.
Adiwang had been on fire before the Minowa loss. He was 3-0 in ONE Warrior Series, two by first round knockouts and a unanimous decision, and 2-0 as a regular campaigner. He ended both these fights by round one submissions.
If there’s one thing that Adiwang has picked up from his lone defeat in his previous nine matches, he has to execute his game plan to the tee, maintaining his deadly striking force while being methodical in his attacks — the perfect embodiment of this new generation of Team Lakay.
And it’s exactly what the Baguio-based striker is looking to unveil in this match against Hexigetu.
“Of course, I want to keep our game plan a secret, but all I can tell everyone is that they can expect that everything we planned for is very solid. Coach Mark [Sangiao] has diligently worked with me in preparing me for this, and like in my past wins, I can say that this will be another highlight win for us,” he said, exuding with confidence.
It also helps that Adiwang has kept himself loose during his training camp, spending more time with his family while keeping his focus as he chose to not be weighed down by the pressure of this upcoming face off.
“I’ve been spending my free time with my family because they are the ones who mean the most to me, especially during these tough times. I’ve also picked up a new hobby which is downhill mountain biking to stay active and that really helped me in my preparations for this fight,” he said.
“I’m just trying to improve myself to be a better me in and out of the ONE Circle.”
Make no mistake, though, Adiwang remains wary of the threat of a stellar grappler like Hexigetu who is on a three-fight win streak.
The Chinese’s grappling skills are well documented, as seen in his big split decision win over Dejdamrong “Kru Rong” Sor Amnuaysirichoke at ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES in October 2020 in Singapore.
Nevertheless, Adiwang’s morale is at an all-time high heading into this clash as he believes that his camp has done everything it could and he has solved the puzzle that is Hexigetu.
“We have already seen his strengths and his weaknesses and I can say that his biggest weakness is facing me,” Adiwang said definitively.
The strawweight bout between Adiwang and Hexigetu will be part of a loaded lead card at ONE: REVOLUTION, where three World Title fights headlining the event.
By Armando M. Bolislis