MMA: Lito Adiwang relishes success amid recent professional, personal tumult

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2021 04:31 PM

Lito Adiwang following his electrifying win over Namiki Kawahara. Handout photo

Lito Adiwang acknowledged he needed to go through a lot leading to his comeback fight against Japan's Namiki Kawahara this Friday in ONE: Unbreakable.

Prior his knockout win over Kawahara, Adiwang was reeling from a tough loss to Hiroba Minowa in a strawweight match last November. It was his first loss in 8 fights. 

That was followed in December by the death of his mother, Letitia, who suffered from multiple strokes, two days before 2020 ended. 

"After the loss it's quite hard to get back. I still cannot get my momentum going to the gym. My spirit is quite low and suddenly the tragedy happened that my mom passed away, that hurt me so much," Adiwang said in an interview following a sensational second-round stoppage of Kawahara on Friday.

"Honestly leading to this fight I'm very nervous if I can perform well. I have this demon inside me facing myself. I'm trying to overcome my fears."

And overcome he did. 

Adiwang was calm and confident while taking on his Japanese foe inside the cage, battering Kawahara with stinging leg kicks and body shots in the first round.

In the second round, the Japanese kept his hands low, apparently bracing himself for another set of body punches. This left his chin open, allowing Adiwang to connect with a thunderous left hook to the jaw.

The Japanese fell to the mat and in an instant the fight was over. 

"I'm glad and happy he came out ready to bang. He wanted to knock me out, I'm happy to welcome him," said Adiwang. "I got the knock out (instead)."

Adiwang said he would be wiling to face Minowa in a rematch. He wanted to straighten things out with his Japanese rival especially after Adiwang absorbed a controversial split decision.

But it's still up to the promotion, he said.

"For me it's up to ONE if they want a rematch between me and Minowa . . . If Minowa doesn't want to dance with me again then I'm ready to accept better challenges," Adiwang said.

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