ARMED with the lessons of the previous year, Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang is looking at 2021 with much excitement and hope.
Ended 2020 at a low after absorbing his first loss in six years, Mr. Adiwang (11-3) of Team Lakay is itching to make his return and get back on the winning track.
“I want to be more active in 2021. I want to have as many fights as possible, and I want to get back in there again quickly. My goal will always be to become a world champion. That has never been more clear to me than now,” said Baguio-based Adiwang in a release.
Mr. Adiwang actually started 2020 strong, exciting the local crowd with an impressive first-round submission victory over Thai Pongsiri Mitsatit at ONE Championship’s “Fire & Fury” event at the Mall of Asia Arena in January.
The win made it back-to-back wins for him in the main roster of ONE.
Then the coronavirus pandemic sent everything to a halt, including training for Team Lakay.
Mr. Adiwang got to return to the ONE Circle in November but lost in his bid, edged by Japan’s Hiroba Minowa in a close split decision.
The loss, the Filipino fighter said, was a hard lesson for him, particularly in further developing his game to make him ready for any situation in the Circle.
“The biggest lesson I learned was to be prepared for any and all situations. I practiced a lot, hoping for a lot of positive things. However, the opposite happened and I was unprepared. It was a bit hard for me to handle,” he said.
But instead of dwelling too much on what happened, Mr. Adiwang said the loss could be a blessing in disguise, preparing him for bigger things ahead.
He further said that he is ready to take anyone in his division, be they former ONE world title challenger and fellow Filipino Rene Catalan as well as former ONE world champions Alex Silva, Yoshitaka Naito, and Yosuke Saruta.
Interestingly, the ONE world strawweight title is currently held by Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, a teammate of Mr. Adiwang at Team Lakay.
“Fans should watch out for my next fight. I plan to bounce back with an impressive win, and remind everyone why they should keep an eye on me,” he said.
“Expect a better, stronger, and wiser Thunder Kid next time. Definitely, surviving and learning from all the challenges and setbacks that came my way, both in and out of the Circle, has made me a better person, a better fighter.” — Michael Angelo S. Murillo