MANILA, Philippines -- Even as he remains careful not to look past his next opponent, Lito Adiwang is already setting his sights on some important fights down the road.
Adiwang will take on China's Hexigetu at ONE: Revolution, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, September 24.
Should he beat Hexigetu, Adiwang already knows who he wants next: former UFC standout Jarred Brooks, and reigning ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang "Iron Man" Jitmuangnon.
Adiwang and Brooks were set to lock horns earlier this year, before the Filipino tested positive for COVID-19 which forced the cancellation of the highly anticipated bout. Prior to that, the two men traded barbs on social media, and general interest in the fight was building rapidly.
The Team Lakay standout has no doubt that he will meet Brooks in the ONE Circle sooner or later.
"I was a little bit disappointed that the fight fell through. I was really looking forward to fighting him. We had some good banter through the media, and fans were really excited for that one. But I'm sure we will meet again in the future," said Adiwang.
"We're both rising to the top, and I have no doubt our paths will cross sooner or later. I'm praying we can meet in the near future and settle the matter in the Circle," he added.
Trash talk aside, Adiwang acknowledged that Brooks will most likely be one of his toughest foes to date, and he is determined to test himself against the American should he get the chance.
"Honestly, I think he's a really strong opponent. I know he was very confident that he could beat me. But I was also very confident I could beat him. It goes both ways. Nevertheless, I knew I was the underdog in that fight. I could only prove I was better than him by fighting him in the cage," said Adiwang.
"I really prepared well for that fight. We studied him, discovered his strengths and weaknesses, and we identified a few areas where I could dominate him," he revealed. "I think his game plan would have been to take me down to the ground and try to control me there to get that submission. But I had a few surprise submissions of my own that I wanted to do."
As for Rodtang, Adiwang has long desired a Muay Thai showdown with the superstar known as "Iron Man." The interest is mutual, as Rodtang also called for a bout against the "Thunder Kid."
"That fight is still on my radar. I would never call anyone out without the intention of fully pushing through with it. I said that because I wanted that fight to happen," said Adiwang. "I think it's a tremendous fight and our styles would make for an interesting matchup."
Still, Adiwang wants it known that he is "focused on Hexigetu alone."
"He's the one in front of me, and I can't look past him. Of course, in the future, that's a fight that I would love to pursue. It would be an honor to test myself against Rodtang, one of the fiercest strikers in the world," he added.
ONE: Revolution features three world title bouts, including Joshua Pacio's defense of his ONE strawweight title against former champion Yosuke Saruta in what will be the third encounter between the rivals.