AFTER an impressive knockout victory at ONE Championship’s “Unbreakable” event in Singapore last Friday, Filipino fighter Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang is now turning his attention on taking all comers in the promotion’s strawweight division.

Coming off a defeat in the ONE Circle late last year, Mr. Adiwang (12-3) said he is happy to be back on the winning track and is determined to stay the course moving forward.  

“I have so many emotions right now. To God be the glory for this win,” said Mr. Adiwang in the virtual press conference following his second-round knockout victory over Japanese Namiki Kawahara.

Team Lakay’s Adiwang was on top of his game throughout the contest, never allowing his opponent to gain much headway. He capped his impressive performance with a well-timed left hook to the jaw of Mr. Kawahara, which signalled the end to the fight.

The win was a bounce back for Mr. Adiwang, who lost in his previous fight to Hiroshi Minowa of Japan by way of a close split decision last November.

Mr. Adiwang shared that he had it tough in the lead up to the Kawahara fight, making the victory more gratifying.

Not only did he deal with the tough loss, he also had the toughest training camp in his career considering the many limitations of the coronavirus pandemic. Compounding things was the passing of his mother in December, which he admitted their family is still coming to terms with.

“I had the toughest training camp for this fight — the preparations and the other issues that had happened for me. I was nervous entering the fight, not because of my opponent, but more if I could compete the way I wanted to after all that I had to go through,” said the ONE Warrior Series product.

Mr. Adiwang said that he is hoping for a short turnaround for him and expressed readiness to go up against anybody in the division, even Mr. Minowa in a rematch.

“It’s up to ONE if I will have a rematch with Minowa. But there is so much talent in the division and I’m looking forward to fighting each one of them. I’m just happy to be back in the Circle and enjoy what I do. Hopefully, it will just be a short turnaround for me after this win,” Mr. Adiwang said.

Other winners at ONE: Unbreakable was Capitan Petchyindee Academy of Thailand, who seized the world bantamweight kickboxing title from Russia’s Alaverdi Ramazanov in just two rounds in the headlining fight; and mixed martial arts legend Shinya Aoki of Japan, who submitted American James Nakashima (rear-naked choke) in the first round.

Next for ONE Championship is “Unbreakable II” on Jan. 29 in Singapore, which will be headlined by the heavyweight MMA clash between Italy’s Mauro Cerelli and Russia’s Abdulbasir Vagabov. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo