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While Lito “The Thunderkid” Adiwang will always be a keen observer from the sidelines during the upcoming fight between Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang Jitmuangnon that will be played under special rules, he is not about to take himself out as a viable option for a substitute duty in case one of them cannot go.
The megabout between the mixed martial arts legend “Mighty Mouse” and reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion “The Iron Man” will be held during ONE:X, ONE Championship’s 10th Anniversary special in December.
The match will be a first in the MMA world, where MMA and Muay Thai hybrid rules will apply in the same bout.
If Adiwang has his way, he is just nearby to take over a vacated spot in the event some withdraws.
For the record, Adiwang had been calling out Rodtang for a meeting with Rodtang in the Circle in the recent past while also indicating that Johnson would be his dream match in MMA.
The fight was truly groundbreaking with two of the best in their disciplines facing off in a never-before-seen fight setup to celebrate ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary.
“I was surprised when I found out about it because we all know what a big deal it is to hear that two of the all-time greats in Rodtang and Demetrious are fighting,” Adiwang said.
Both Rodtang and DJ are set to wear 4 oz gloves while splitting the four rounds down the middle. Rounds one and three will be contested in a Muay Thai set up, while rounds two and four will be under the promotion’s Global Martial Arts ruleset.
It’s a first of its kind arrangement that has left the likes of the Team Lakay rising star intrigued.
“First time in history that such a setup will be held. It’s really exciting and I really want to see what will happen between them,” said Thunder Kid, who is coming off a sensational unanimous decision triumph over Chinese foe Hexigetu at ONE: REVOLUTION.
Adiwang thinks the new rules are a great thing for the sport since it allows athletes with different disciplines to compete with each other. It is for this reason one may have to pardon him for feeling giddy talking about this colossal match of different worlds colliding in an unconventional setup.
“Imagine: you have one who is a pure striker who’s the best in his field, so that’s a clear advantage for Rodtang. On the other hand, you have Demetious who we all know what he’s capable of because he’s one of the greatest of all time. There’s no question that he can finish Rodtang if the fight is under MMA rules. So it’s really interesting to see how that fight will play out,” he said.
For Adiwang, the key for both Rodtang and Johnson is who can capitalize on the rounds geared towards their expertise, saying: “It will depend on who will be the first to impose their will because it will be like a cat-and-mouse match where both of them will try to catch each other.”
Although he has to admit that he will have to give a slight advantage to the “Mighty Mouse,” noting: “He can make it past the first round. He can clinch, keep a safe striking distance away from Rodtang and finish it in the second round where he’s more used to the rules because it’s under MMA rounds.”
Nonetheless, he’s just pumped to see this dream match come to fruition, so much so that the 28-year-old wishes that this won’t be a one-off.
“For me, this is really a big thing that unique fights like this are happening. We can now pit the best of the best, which before didn’t seem likely because of their contrasting disciplines. This is the best solution that ONE has made and it is certainly an interesting possibility for fighters who have different strengths,” he said.
Honestly speaking, “Thunder Kid” would like to test himself in this innovative match type as he sees himself thriving should he be matched up against a Muay Thai practitioner.
“It’s not a secret that I like striking, so if there will be rounds that will only be pure striking, like what’s done in Muay Thai fights, I’d really like to be part of that,” he said. “I like the concept and I believe that it’s a perfect fit for me.”
This is why he is presenting himself as an alternate if ever anyone of Rodtang or Johnson won’t be cleared to fight in that match.
After all, it was always a lifelong dream for the Team Lakay flyweight to test his mettle against either of the two as earlier mentioned.
“It has always been my dream, to face the best in my division, may it be in MMA against DJ or in Muay Thai versus Rodtang. So if ever someone will pull out, ONE just got to know that the Thunder Kid is always here and I’ll always prepare for it,” he said with a laugh.
By Armando M. Bolislis