MMA: Adiwang excited for intriguing Rodtang-DJ showdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2021 11:23 AM

Team Lakay's Lito Adiwang. Handout photo.
Team Lakay's Lito Adiwang. Handout photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- Lito Adiwang shares the excitement of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans for the one-of-kind showdown between Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and reigning ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon at ONE X in December.

"I was surprised when I found out about it because we all know what a big deal it is to hear that two of the all-time greats in Rodtang and Demetrious are fighting," he said.

Rodtang and Johnson will face off in a unique set-up that will highlight the celebrations of ONE Championship's 10-year anniversary.

Both fighters will wear four-ounce gloves while splitting the four rounds down the middle. Rounds one and three will be contested in a Muay Thai set up, while rounds two and four will be under the promotion's Global Martial Arts ruleset.

Adiwang is admittedly intrigued at how the match will play out.

"First time in history that such a setup will be held. It's really exciting and I really want to see what will happen between them," said Adiwang, who is coming off a sensational unanimous decision triumph over Chinese foe Hexigetu at ONE: Revolution.

"Imagine: you have one who is a pure striker who's the best in his field, so that's a clear advantage for Rodtang. On the other hand, you have Demetious who we all know what he's capable of because he's one of the greatests of all time, and there's no question that he can finish Rodtang if the fight is under MMA rules. So it's really interesting to see how that fight will play out," he added.

For the Team Lakay star, the key for both Rodtang and Johnson is who can capitalize on the rounds geared towards their expertise, saying: "It will depend on who will be the first to impose their will because it will be like a cat-and-mouse match where both of them will try to catch each other."

However, Adiwang is giving a slight advantage to Johnson, the former UFC flyweight champion who was sensationally traded to ONE Championship in October 2018.

"He (Johnson) can make it past the first round. He can clinch, keep a safe striking distance away from Rodtang and finish it in the second round where he's more used to the rules because it's under MMA rounds," he added.

Regardless of what happens, Adiwang is excited to witness the match and is hopeful that it won't be a one-off occurrence.

"For me, this is really a big thing that unique fights like this are happening. We can now pit the best of the best, which before didn't seem likely because of their contrasting disciplines," he said.

"This is the best solution that ONE has made and it is certainly an interesting possibility for fighters who have different strengths," he added.

Indeed, Adiwang is interested in testing himself in this kind of a match, and is confident that he can thrive even against a Muay Thai practitioner.

"It's not a secret that I like striking, so if there will be rounds that will only be pure striking, like what's done in Muay Thai fights, I'd really like to be part of that," he said. "I like the concept and I believe that it's a perfect fit for me."

Adiwang is even going out of his way and presenting himself as an alternate if ever anyone of Rodtang or Johnson won't be cleared to fight in that match.

"It has always been my dream, to face the best in my division, may it be in MMA against DJ or in Muay Thai versus Rodtang. So if ever someone will pull out, ONE just got to know that the Thunder Kid is always here and I'll always prepare for it," he declared.

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