Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang might be focused on his ACL recovery, but he’s still keeping tabs on what’s happening in the strawweight division.
That’s why he’s excited for the big matchup between two of the top strawweight stars in Hiroba Minowa and Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane, who will meet at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash on July 22 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Both No. 2-ranked Masunyane and No. 3-ranked Minowa are coming off losses to current top contender Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks, and will surely try to avoid losing consecutively for the first time in their careers.
For Adiwang, that alone makes this clash interesting.
“I was excited to see the ONE 159 fight card because there’s a really great matchup between Bokang and Minowa. It’s a great fight because both are well-rounded, but I’m giving the edge to Bokang for this one,” Adiwang said.
“He has better wrestling than Minowa, and I see that as the key to victory here. He can defend the takedown and submission attacks of Minowa and use his wrestling skills to control Minowa in the clinch and on the ground.”
According to Adiwang, the South African’s evolving game on the feet makes him the favorite over his Japanese counterpart, but he’ll be rooting for his former foe in Minowa as he has unfinished business with him.
Adiwang and Minowa have already met each other inside the cage, with the latter coming away with a contested split-decision win in a match where the Filipino felt he should have won.
In that contest, Adiwang locked in a kimura and thought Minowa tapped, but the 25-year-old vehemently denied it.
Given that he hopes to fight Minowa again in the future, “Thunder Kid” will certainly be rooting for him to win over Masunyane.
“I saw how he improved his striking skills, and he can use that to out-point Minowa. But, on the other hand, I am hoping that Minowa will win and build his name so that we’ll have a better build-up for a potential rematch in the coming years,” Adiwang said.
“If given a chance to face one of them, I want to face the winner of their match, and I’m really hoping that Minowa will win this one so that we will dance one more time, and I can clear my record – especially since he got a controversial win over me.”