MMA: Adiwang wants Minowa rematch - 'I just made some mistakes'


Posted at Nov 19 2020 12:06 PM | Updated as of Nov 19 2020 03:52 PM

MMA: Adiwang wants Minowa rematch - 'I just made some mistakes' 1
Team Lakay's Lito Adiwang ahead of his ONE Championship bout against Hiroba Minowa. Handout photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- Lito Adiwang's meteoric rise in ONE Championship was halted last week after he suffered a split decision defeat to Japan's Hiroba Minowa at ONE: Inside the Matrix III in Singapore.

It snapped a seven-bout winning streak for the "Thunder Kid," who first burst into the scene through the "ONE Warrior Series" in 2018. He looked ready to compete at the highest level in the strawweight division, but his momentum was sapped with this loss.

Now, he is expected to lose his ranking in the top five of the division.

"I think this loss happened at the perfect time in my career," Adiwang said. "It's better to check myself now, and know my weaknesses, than when I'm at the top already."

"It's better to correct the mistakes now. I can tell you, the mistakes I made in this fight won't happen again," he guaranteed.

Adiwang said he learned plenty from the defeat, and that he considers it a blessing. One thing he learned? He cannot leave the decision in the hands of the judges.

There were indications after the bout that Adiwang may have actually gotten a submission in the first round. Replays showed that Minowa appeared to briefly and inconspicuously tap to a deep Kimura armlock that Adiwang had locked in.

The referee was not in the right position to see it happen, however, and Adiwang said there is nothing he can do about it.

"A lot of fans told me they noticed he tapped in the first round. I'm not going to say anything except that I am asking for a rematch so we can close the case," Adiwang said. "The best way to end the speculation is by having a rematch."

"I respect him a lot. He has the skill and the talent. But he's not the strongest fighter I have faced. I just made some key mistakes that led to an undesirable result," he added.

The young Filipino also insists he has no regrets even as his tactics were questioned, as Adiwang opted to go to the ground with a grappling specialist rather than keep the fight on their feet.

"I did try to finish him on the feet like I always do, but he wanted to go to the ground. He was determined. So I went to the ground with him," he said. "Honestly, in the first round, I had that submission locked in."

"I had his arm trapped, and I left a slight opening for him so he could tap. Everything just happened so fast. All I know is that the armlock was deep," he added.

It remains to be seen if ONE Championship will grant Adiwang's request of a rematch, but the Filipino star said he is ready to move forward regardless of the decision. 

"I learned a lot from that fight alone. I will come back from this a much better fighter," he vowed. 

"Honestly, I didn't see it coming. I fully expected to win. But looking at the big picture, it's a positive thing. It's a valuable experience to be better."

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