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Lito Adiwang adjusts for new foe at ONE: Unbreakable

Lito Adiwang adjusts for new foe at ONE: Unbreakable

REDEMPTION. Lito Adiwang is itching to bounce back from his loss to Hiroba Minowa.

Photo from ONE Championship

With his initial opponent withdrawing, rising Filipino star Lito Adiwang will instead face Japanese champion Namiki Kawahara

Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang will have to make some adjustments ahead of his bout this Friday, January 22, at ONE Championship: Unbreakable.  

Adiwang was originally scheduled to face “Wolf Of The Grasslands” Hexigetu at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, but the Chinese star had to withdraw, allowing Japanese champion Namiki Kawahara to fill in.  

Against Kawahara, Adiwang faces an entirely different man from the one he prepared for, but the Filipino understands that this is the reality of being an athlete, particularly in a sport like mixed martial arts.

“There are going to be some major adjustments for sure. We really have to tweak our game plan for him, but we don’t mind,” Adiwang said.  

When he was preparing for Hexigetu, Adiwang was expecting a smaller opponent who likes to push the action and go for takedowns. Against Kawahara, “Thunder Kid” faces a taller opponent who is more likely to engage him on the feet.  

Despite having to adjust just a week before his bout, Adiwang believes Kawahara’s style will suit his strengths, especially if the Japanese star decides to keep the match standing.  

“I am confident that if it stays on the feet, I’m at an advantage. I just have to focus on his point of attack and be accurate with my counters,” he said.  

Regardless of his opponent, people can certainly expect Adiwang to be on top of his game.  

After all, the 27-year-old is itching to bounce back since his loss to Hiroba Minowa at ONE: Inside the Matrix III late last year. 

Once one of the fastest rising stars in The Home Of Martial Arts with two first-round wins in his first two bouts, Adiwang saw his hype train derailed following a shaky performance against Minowa. 

Now, he wants to put that forgettable performance behind him.  

“I have to prove that I only had an off night against Minowa. I made a lot of mistakes back in that match, like in my preparation and weight management for example,” Adiwang said. 

“That’s is the reason why I wasn’t able to perform to what was expected of me and what I wanted to do.”

“At least I learned from that match and I was able to see the things that I need to improve on.”

That is why he will stop at nothing to regain the admiration he commanded before that loss.  

“The pressure is on,” he said.  

“Yes, I know I have to prove myself to the world and earn people’s respect. I’m working on that.”

ONE: Unbreakable will air live and for free on One Sports, One Sports+, and the ONE Super App at 8:30 pm.

TV5 will also broadcast the event on a next-day delay at 11 pm on Saturday, January 23. – Rappler.com

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