|Australian MMA fighter Rob Lisita. Photo by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – Australian fighter Rob Lisita looks up at Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao as one of his idols.
Lisita, who is due for a rematch against Yusuke Kawanago in ONE FC, said he has always been a loyal follower of Pacquiao’s fights.
“Manny’s aggressive, he’s fast, he’s got crazy angles. Heavy hands and the biggest heart among fighters. He gets knocked down and he gets back up and he always wins,” the 31-year-old Aussie said following the press conference of ONE FC: Rise of Heroes.
Lisita added that Pacquiao is more than just a fighter. He said the boxing pride of General Santos City is a family man, just like himself.
“He’s got faith in God and he loves his family, I see a lot of similarities between me and Manny,” he said.
Lisita is scheduled to fight Kawanago for the second time when ONE FC stages Rise of Heroes in Manila on May 2.
Kawanago was the victor during their first face off in Legend Fighting Championship 10 in 2012. That unanimous decision loss was Lisita’s only one in his last seven fights.
The Japanese is confident that the Australian will only get beat again come fight night.
“This coming match, I'll teach my opponent that no matter how many times we fight, the result will be the same,” said Kawanago during the press conference. “[This time] he'll be lying down on the floor.”
But Lisita said he’ll be coming into the fight thoroughly prepared, even hinting that he’s included a new mode of attack in his striking arsenal.
“I'm gonna teach him a lesson. I've been training a lot in soccer to prepare for this fight, so you might see something new,” Lisita said, alluding to "soccer kicks."
ONE FC CEO Victor Cui said that they implement "global rules" in ONE FC to make the fight game more exciting.
Based on the global rules, they allow kicks even while the opponent is on the ground, unlike in US-based promotions.
"We use the global rules set for MMA. It's a combination of the rules from the east and the west. It allows us to have much more aggressive, exciting fights," he said.
"In ONE FC, you don't see a lot of people hiding behind the rules."