Adiwang overcomes ‘toughest fight camp’ to beat Kawahara

Published January 24, 2021, 2:04 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

It wasn’t an easy road for Lito Adiwang.

Coming from a defeat last November against Japanese fighter Hiroba Minowa, Adiwang suffered a greater loss with the death of his mother Leticia last December.

The Team Lakay stalwart admitted that the journey heading into Friday’s fight night against Namiki Kawahara of Japan has to be the “toughest fight camp” he ever faced.

And those two months became a huge test for Adiwang’s character and fighting spirit.

“The preparation leading into this fight was very tough for me, emotionally,” said Adiwang in a post-event online press conference. “Because after a loss, it’s quite hard to get back and I still cannot get my momentum going to the gym. My spirit is quite low and then suddenly, the tragedy happened that my mom passed away. That hurts me so much.”

Despite these setbacks, “The Thunder Kid” showcased a classic performance by knocking out Kawahara in the second round, sending the Japanese ONE rookie to the canvas.

To his surprise, Adiwang’s nervousness wasn’t at all evident, sharing the same cage with Kawahara all smiles but with a ferocious fighting instinct.

Adiwang, after the win, could not help but turn emotional during the interview with Mitch Chilson, giving shoutouts to his family back in the Philippines and to his late mother.

Read: Minowa rematch up to ONE’s decision, says Adiwang

“I’m very thankful that everything went well. Seriously and honestly, leading into this fight, I’m very, very nervous,” said the 27-year-old Igorot warrior.

“I’m not nervous about my opponent but I’m nervous if I can perform well. So that’s my problem, if I can perform well. I have this demon inside me facing myself that I hope I can perform well. I’m trying to beat and overcome my fears,” added Adiwang, who improved to a 12-3 record.