Though his opponent, Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit may be one of the strawweight division’s most dangerous strikers, Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang says he will do whatever it takes to put on a show.
If that means the ONE Warrior Series (OWS) contract winner has to have a stand-up war with the Thai knockout artist at ONE: FIRE & FURY to thrill the Filipino fans in Manila, he is ready to do it.
However, the 26-year-old from Benguet is coming with a well-rounded game plan this Friday, 31 January, to take out his rival in whatever way he can.
“I plan to trade strikes with him first. I’ll test my striking skills with him, but it depends. If there are chances to counter [in other aspects], I’ll do it. I’ll mix it up,” Adiwang says.
“If it becomes a battle of counters, the match might be boring. I want to stand toe-to-toe with him and that’s why I prepared hard for that. If he becomes a counter-striker, I will then mix it up.
“I will try to go for the finish,” he adds. “It will depend on where the match will be fought but I have to finish it. Either by submission or KO.”
An aggressive approach could be risky given Mitsatit’s 90-percent finishing rate, but Adiwang feels compelled to go for it so he can live up to the reputation of his gym.
Team Lakay athletes have been a staple of The Home Of Martial Arts since its inception thanks to their exciting bouts and success – five have become World Champions – and he is determined to follow in their footsteps.
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“I’m trying to handle the pressure of giving a good fight because I’m a member of Team Lakay, so for me, I handle it by just practicing intensely, and then every time I fight, I have to be able to give my best,” says “Thunder Kid.”
“That’s the bottom line. Win or lose, what matters is I was able to give it my all and I was able to show what I can give in a fight.”
Adiwang’s motivation to deliver a standout performance has only been enhanced by the fact he will compete in his homeland as a ONE athlete for the first time.
Even though his victorious debut came under the brightest lights of all at the biggest show in martial arts history, ONE: CENTURY – where he scored a quick TKO of Senzo Ikeda – a match in front of his expectant compatriots will bring its own pressure.
However, “Thunder Kid” is full of confidence off the back of a six-bout winning streak, and positive thoughts outweigh any anxieties he has about rising to the occasion.
“I can’t say that I’m really nervous, maybe just 20 to 30 percent, but I’m mostly excited to perform in front of the Filipino crowd,” he adds.
“I will make them my motivation to give an awesome fight, for all of them.”
What’s more, it has been a long time since Adiwang had the chance to feel the rush from the roar of his home crowd.
Following his last match on Philippine soil all the way back in November 2013, he has competed in Malaysia, India, Thailand, Singapore, and Japan, so he cannot wait to be spurred on by his Pinoy fans and family.
“All my siblings will watch, and I will also have friends there to support me,” he says.
“The crowd will push you, it will push you if you are in your home [country]. I want to show my family that I’ve made it, I’m here. I’ll show them the things that I’ve worked on for a long time.
“It’s also great to perform in front of my countrymen because it’s been a long time since I made my presence felt in the Philippine fight scene. I want to make a re-introduction to my country.”