Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang perfectly adjusted to the in and out style of Namiki Kawahara to take out the fight of his equally explosive rival and kick off ONE Championship’s 2021 calendar in stunning fashion at ONE: UNBREAKABLE held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 22 January.
The Filipino star reversed his fortunes after suffering his first promotional defeat and losing his mother at the end of 2020 by knocking out Kawahara with a left hook in the second round of their strawweight mixed martial arts tilt.
Adiwang and his Team Lakay coaches crafted a samrt plan of setting up the lethal fist by landing the feet at the side and the body.
Adiwang divuldged that he want to soften Kawahara’s legs first, showing that he was hunting for the legs, but in reality, going for the power punches.
That’s what transpired early in the fight.
The clash of striking specialists began as expected, with both men exclusively on the feet throughout the entire fight.
Adiwang landed a thudding low kick early while his ONE debuting rival bounced around and feinted from his wide stance.
The “Thunder Kid” then bludgeoned his rival’s legs and body with powerful roundhouse kicks from the outside and worked his way inside the range with heavy left hooks and overhand rights.
Kawahara kept his composure by looking to counter when his opponent missed with looping shots and keep on moving back fast to distort the Team Lakay standout’s timing off.
Kawahara bounced out of the blocks in round two, again beginning with his feints on the move seeing they were effective in the first.
Unknowing, Adiwang and his team made the adjustment, got the read of the stance and style and became confident that he could deliver the lethal blow.
The “Thunder Kid” stuck to his game plan early and smashed the Team Alpha Male athlete’s lead leg his with his right low kicks and mixed some spinning kicks and crisp punch combinations to keep Kawahara backing on his toes.
Adiwang then got his hands working and clocked Kawahara with a hard overhand right.
The Osaka native took the punch but a follow-up left hook to the body got the Filipino’s confidence of ending the fight in abbreviated fashion growing.
After a slightly grazing low blow from Kawahara paused the fight momentarily, Adiwang connected a low, high kick combination to the side to further confuse the Japanese.
In a sweetening move, Adiwang inserted some arm circling moves to play some mind games that worked perfectly as Kawahara responded in kind.
That was the finishing touches of the fight-ending move as Adiwang connected on a right cross body shot to entice the Japanese Mixed Martial Arts Champion into a grave error of following a backtracking Adiwang for a counter and stepping into his range with his hands down.
That gave “Thunder Kid” the opening to throw a perfectly timed left hook that squarely landed at his foe’s chin and dropped Kawahara to the canvas.
Adiwang quickly looked to dish more punishment by ground and pound but was pushed aside by the referee who waved off the fight and award him an incredible KO victory at 2:02 mark.
The stoppage victory got Adiwang back on the winning track and pushed his record to 12-3 while dropping Kawahara’s to 7-4 with 2 draws and 1 no contest.
Scribes conducting post-fight interviews are insinuating either a Koha Minowa rematch or his original opponent for this fight, Hexigetu, as Adiwang’s next opponent. Adiwang welcomed both opportunities but stated he will be ready for any opponent ONE gives him.
By: Armando M. Bolislis