Japanese fighter confident of knocking out Adiwang

Published January 21, 2021, 4:27 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

Japanese fighter Namiki Kawahara is confident of pulling off a knockout victory against Filipino rising star Lito Adiwang of Team Lakay in the hopes of barging in the top 5 of the strawweight division.

Kawahara, a ONE Championship debutant, vowed to surpass his compatriot Hiroba Minowa’s way of winning against Adiwang in ONE: Unbreakable on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

It would be recalled that Adiwang lost to Minowa in a controversial split decision loss last November despite the Filipino’s several submission attempts.

Read: Adiwang ‘excited’ to face another Japanese after loss to Minowa

“Hiroba Minowa did beat Lito in their last fight, but to be honest, it wasn’t an interesting fight,” said Kawahara. “I’m going to show you a better way to beat Lito, and that’s to knock him out and finish him.

“I think if Lito faces a Shooto-level fighter, he is not that explosive. I don’t think he will be as explosive against me. It’s hard to predict, but I’m ready to just outwork him and beat him up. I’m just going to enjoy the bout and win.”

Be it on foot or on the ground, the 31-year-old Japanese fighter from Osaka prefecture wants to make a clear statement that he’s “dangerous” despite being a newcomer in the promotion and the short-notice as a replacement for Hexigetu of China.

Against Kahawara, Adiwang will be facing a known striker who holds a 6-3-2 win-loss-draw record.

Kawahara last saw action in Deep & Pancrase – Osaka Tournament where he stunned Jun Nakamura in the first round.

“All I’m thinking about right now is finishing him (Adiwang). That’s my goal. If it’s a standup fight, I’m going to knock him out. If it goes to the ground, I’m going to submit him. It’s as simple as that.”

Read: Lesson learned as Adiwang tries more ‘technical’ approach against another Japanese foe

Adiwang, on the other hand, saw his seven-match win streak against Minowa and slid to 11-3 record.