MANILA -- After a triumphant return to competition, Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang is wasting no time and is already on the lookout for his next opponent.
Adiwang barely broke a sweat in his fight against Adrian Mattheis at ONE Friday Fights 34 last week: he dispatched the "Papua Badboy" in just 23 seconds at the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
A well-timed straight right dazed his Indonesian foe before Adiwang peppered Mattheis with punches from the mount to score his quickest win so far in his ONE Championship career. It marked the end of a two-fight losing streak, and a successful return after an 18-month layoff due to injury.
Now with ONE potentially making its debut in Qatar at the end of the year, Adiwang wants in.
"I want to fight again. I want to fight in an event like [ONE Friday Fights 34 again], a big event. This was one of the biggest cards, and I'm grateful to compete in events like this," said Adiwang.
"I love opening shows and setting the mood for a red-hot crowd. I'm hoping I get to join the Qatar card. I'd really love to fight there," he added.
If fighting in Qatar is not possible, then Adiwang hopes to be part of one of the four cards scheduled in the United States next year. He is confident that Filipinos in the US will be in full support.
"There are a lot of Filipinos there, and I believe that we're going to have a lot of supporters there. That's my target now, get big fights on big cards," said Adiwang.
He also has an ideal dance partner in mind for his next bout: No. 4 ranked Gustavo Balart. The Cuban has been on a roll, having won his last three fights including back-to-back victories over former ONE World Champions Yosuke Saruta and Alex Silva.
"I really want to challenge Gustavo Balart. I've been thinking about that matchup for a long time," said Adiwang. "He's a very good wrestler with wild striking. I know that would do a lot for my wrestling as well – how I'd defend, how I'd counter. My wrestling would certainly improve in this fight."