Lito Adiwang dedicates fight for ailing mother

Screenshot from ONE Championship's Facebook page

Team Lakay's strawweight contender Lito Adiwang is dedicating his fight against Hiroba Minowa of Japan in ONE: Inside the Matrix III to his ailing mother.

Giving honor to mother Leticia, who is now bedridden after surviving multiple strokes since 2016, is one of the goals for Adiwang entering the Circle after 10 long months at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Friday night.

“I am very excited and happy to be back in action, and continue to do what I love to do. This fight is very special for me. I want to win for my family, especially my mom,” said Adiwang, the No. 5 fighter in the strawweight rank. 

“My mother has had a big impact on my life. She is the reason I am who I am today. I thank her for everything in my life, and I am proud and happy to be her son.”

In a four-minute video aired by ONE Championship, an emotional Adiwang revealed the struggles of seeing his mother suffering from stroke -- the first time in 2016 and the second three years later.

It was only this year that the worst came upon the Adiwang family as Leticia's health continued to decline and eventually became bedridden.

"Sinabi ng doctor, 'Okay, you need to be prepared. You need to be tough. So 'yun, sinabi 'yung kondisyon, mga taon na lang ," said the 27-year-old Adiwang. "Ang sakit as a son. Masakit talaga. I cannot describe the pain kasi ano -- nanay mo 'yun e. Siya yung nagpalaki nag-push sa'yo."

The quarantine became a blessing in disguise for Adiwang, having spent most of his downtime with his family and beside his mother while keeping a fit and conditioned body in training sessions with Team Lakay.

The Igorot warrior believes that a victory over Minowa will be instrumental not only for his rising career in mixed martial arts but also for bringing pride, at the very least, for his family and mother Leticia.

At the end of the day, Adiwang wants nothing else but to become a world champion.

“I’ve really done my best in training and to improve myself. That’s the only way I can keep this up. Every time I step into the Circle, I want to give fans a show they want to watch. Each victory will keep moving me up the ladder until I’ve reached the top.”