MANILA, Philippines — Lito Adiwang was the first Filipino fighter to step back into action with Singapore-based promotion ONE Championship and he did so with an emphatic win last Friday.
Bouncing back from numerous challenges in 2020, including a tough loss at the hands of Hiroba Minowa and the unfortunate loss of his mother, Adiwang brought a new year of hope in his second round knockout of Namiki Kawahara.
The 27-year-old expressed after the fight that he hopes this triumph not only builds momentum for himself, but also for his fellow Filipino fighters in the promotion.
"I feel great, happy, and excited that I opened this year with a good win and I'm hoping that my fellow athletes will pick up on that and then get motivation to continue to win," Adiwang said.
Along with Adiwang, a number of Filipino athletes met setbacks in 2020 — including his stablemates and former ONE world champions Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon.
But with a good start to the year, Team Lakay looks forward to a better performance overall.
Meanwhile, when it comess to his own career path, Adiwang is seeing the win as just a small step toward his ultimate goal: to become a world champion.
Though having won three out of his four outings with ONE Championship, the Team Lakay rising star believes there is more work to be done to have his sights on the strawweight world title.
"I think I'm not that close, and not that far," said Adiwang of a possible shot at the belt.
"I need to show a little bit more in the octagon and maybe earn some good wins against the former champions and put my name in the rankings then that's when I know I'm ready for the strap," he continued.
The current ONE strawweight world titlist is Joshua Pacio, a compatriot and stablemate of Adiwang.
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