Adiwang back in the circle from a tumultuous year

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A trip back to the ONE circle might be what Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang needs. It maybe the thing that could freshen this young man’s troubled mind and emotions

Adiwang’s 2020 hit the rough roads as the 27-year old Team Lakay upstart lost his mother Leticia just barely over a month after losing a bout against Japan’s Hiroba Minowa by close split decision.

Making matters worse, all these happened during a year full of pandemic consequences.

Adiwang is scheduled to make his return to the ONE Circle at ONE: UNBREAKABLE, scheduled for Friday, 22 January in Singapore. It’s his first fight back since losing to Minowa in November. He is scheduled to face China’s Hexigetu in a strawweight bout.

Letecia, who has suffered multiple strokes since 2016, passed away on 30 December to cap a tumultuous year for Adiwang, who said her mother might not be totally sold out on him being an MMA fighter.

“There is nothing a mother wants more than to see her child happy and successful. I know my mother loved me so much, and she just really didn’t want me to get hurt, which is why she didn’t fully accept me being a fighter with her whole heart,” said Adiwang.

Adiwang, however, stood path on his chosen field amid her mother’s disapproval.

“But I chose this career, and I believe she was happy to see me succeed in what I love to do. I know in my heart she is proud of me, and I will continue to live my life in her honor.” he said.

Members of Team Lakay rushed to Adiwang’s aid in show of support. The team, along with head coach Mark Sangiao, convened in the first few days of 2021, to attend the funeral service.

“My teammates have always been there for me. They’ve supported me through the hardest times. They are like family to me. I am very lucky to have a good support system,” said Adiwang.

After his mother was laid to rest, Adiwang expressed his intent to turn the year around.

“Nothing has changed in my mindset. The goal remains the same for me. I’m climbing to the top. If anything, I just got more motivated and driven. I want to prove myself in this next fight, and to do that, I have to be at my best.”

Adiwang maintains that the experiences he’s gone through in the past few months have only made him stronger.

“I am more motivated now than ever to achieve my goals, and apply the lessons I learned in 2020, especially. I know the pressure is on, and I can feel the pressure. I know I have to prove myself to the world again, to earn the people’s trust. I’m working on coming back stronger than ever,” said Adiwang.

“I think everything happens for a reason. My setbacks today will be what makes me a better fighter for tomorrow. All the hard work I’m putting in will pay off in God’s perfect time. I just want to thank everyone for their support in my darkest hour. The race has just begun for me, but I promise to finish strong.”

ONE: UNBREAKABLE is ONE Championship’s first live event in 2021. The main event features a ONE Super Series showdown between ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov of Russia, who defends his world title against #2-ranked bantamweight kickboxing contender Capitan Petchyindee Academy of Thailand.

By Armando M. Bolislis

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