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ONE Championship #5-ranked strawweight contender Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang, one of the most explosive mixed martial artists in the world today, is taking aim at another victory towards inching closer to a world title shot.
The Team Lakay Phenom, arguably the promotion’s fastest rising star, returns to the ring this Friday night, November 13, for another opportunity to continue his rise through the ranks in a highly-anticipated return to the ONE Circle. He isn’t about to take this chance for granted.
“I am happy to be labeled as one of Team Lakay’s next biggest stars. I’m on my way to proving that I deserve this status and I want to make all of my dreams present and reality. It’s a long, hard road to the top, but I’m willing to give whatever it takes to reach my dreams.”
Adiwang will take on former Shooto Champion Hiroba Minowa of Japan in a three-round strawweight mixed martial arts contest at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, a previously-recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, scheduled for global air this Friday, 13 November.
Adiwang is currently riding a seven-bout winning streak, with all but one of those seven wins coming by way of exciting finish. He likes the attention he is getting because of it.
“Fans can expect an exciting and a good show every time I step into the Circle. I will always give my best in every fight. I want to thank everyone for their support. It means a lot to me,” said Adiwang.
Needless to say, all eyes are on Adiwang’s next performance and he needs just a handful of victories left before he enters the title conversation.
“I feel like I only need a few more wins to be considered a title contender, especially sitting in the top five right now. But of course, I’ll let ONE Championship decide whether I’m ready or not. I just have to focus on getting better with each fight. That’s my main goal,” said Adiwang.
In Minowa, Adiwang faces a formidable foe who sports a similar professional record and a common career trajectory. Just like Adiwang, Minowa is a proven finisher, having ended all 10 of his victories inside the distance, along the way capturing a Shooto Strawweight World Championship.
Minowa is making his ONE Championship debut and wants to shake things up in a big way. A win over one of the promotion’s most promising talents in Adiwang would certainly make waves in the division.
“I’m not taking Minowa lightly. I know he is a good finisher, just like I am. So I can’t get caught. I have to maintain my concentration heading into this. If I can beat him decisively, I think that should move me up in the rankings. I’m looking forward to a good, fun fight.”
Of course, there’s that lingering problem up top. The current king of the strawweight division is Adiwang’s teammate, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.
While both men and their shared camp haven’t completely ruled out a battle between the two for the World Title, Adiwang would rather not face his ‘brother’ in the Circle.
A move up in weight is an option for Adiwang but he says we’re still way ahead of that discussion.
“For now, it’s still too early to say because I’m focused on clearing out the division. I’ll let the future decide,” said Adiwang.
“If I can get a few more wins, maybe spark up that conversation a little bit, then we’ll see when we get there. Right now, I have a very dangerous opponent in front of me in Minowa. I can’t underestimate him.”
ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III features former ONE Bantamweight World Champion and top ranked bantamweight contender Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon against fifth-ranked bantamweight contender John “Hands of Stone” Lineker of Brazil in the main event,.
Cordillera and Philippine audiences can watch the event on November 13 on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m.
By Armando M. Bolislis