By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

SET TO TAKE make his Manila debut for ONE Championship, Team Lakay fighter Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang said he is very excited to fight in front of the hometown fans and make it an event to remember.

To take on Thai Pongsiri Mitsatit in a strawweight preliminary fight at “ONE: Fire & Fury” on Jan. 31 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Mr. Adiwang (10-2) is expecting tough competition but nonetheless expressed his readiness to compete.

“I feel confident heading into this match-up. I love Pongsiri’s style. He’s an exciting fighter. It just gives me more motivation and confidence knowing I am up against a good challenge,” said Mr. Adiwang, who is riding a six-fight winning streak.

The Baguio-based fighter added that fighting alongside his Lakay teammates makes his upcoming fight all the more significant for him.

Apart from him, Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio is also in action, defending his ONE world strawweight title against Brazilian Alex Silva in headlining fight.

Also in the card for Team Lakay are former ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang, Danny “The King” Kingad, and Gina “Conviction” Iniong.

Mr. Adiwang topped the ONE Warrior Series last year to earn a contract with Asia’s largest sports media property.

He had a winning debut in ONE’s main draw in October, defeating former Pancrase champion Senzo Ikeda at the landmark “ONE: Century” event in Japan.

Known for his striking, Mr. Adiwang delivered a different facet of his game against Mr. Ikeda, scoring an early takedown and immediately executed a scarf-hold armlock. The bout was stopped just moments later after the Japanese suffered an injury to his arm, giving the stoppage win to the Filipino.

It’s the same aggressiveness that he is angling to bring at Fire & Fury.

“This is my first fight in Manila with ONE Championship, so naturally, I am really excited to fight in front of my countrymen. Filipino fans are the best in the world, and I cannot wait to bring the heat,” said Mr. Adiwang.

“I am heading into this fight full of confidence. I know I am going to win. That is my mindset right now. The only thing left to do is perform to the best of my abilities. Then, I will claim victory. I want to win this fight in an impressive way. I want the finish, whichever way it comes — on the feet or on the ground,” he added.