Expect a different version of Lito Adiwang in the Circle.
This after the Team Lakay strawweight contender knocked out Japanese opponent Namiki Kawahara in ONE: Unbreakable last Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Adiwang showed a different approach entering the fight, keeping a calm and composed stance in two rounds and hauling points with accurate body shots and strong leg kicks.
The gameplan worked just fine as Adiwang found the perfect opportunity to land a vicious left hook straight Kawahara’s jaw which stunned and floored the Japanese champion.
Adiwang pursued with follow-up ground-and-pound but referee Olivier Coste was quick to stop the match at the 2:02 mark of the second round.
“In the future fight, I plan to continue that. Be relaxed but explosive and dangerous,” said the 27-year-old Adiwang post-match. “Just go there, don’t overexplode, don’t rush anything. I’m trying to improve every time I enter the cage and that’s one thing I improved tonight. I think I showed it already. I went here relaxed and calm but technically, I try to finish him.”
While Adiwang did all the physical work, it was coach Mark Sangiao who helped him with setting up the best strategy possible.
“We’re trying to set that left hook. So we studied his style and he loves to come inside with a left hook also. So I visualize if I cannot get him with an overhand or right uppercut, maybe a left hook can end him. And that went well,” explained Adiwang. “I’m happy with the result.”
In Adiwang’s previous fights, the Filipino knockout artist always lived up to his moniker “The Thunder Kid” by zooming in with his explosive punches and leg kicks.
Adiwang, who improved to a 12-3 record, in fact, had six wins coming from punching finishers, four from submissions, and one from an arm injury.
Sangiao, for his part, lauded Adiwang for the solid showing and said that all went according to plan.
“I told him to stay calm and composed, and just focus on striking accurately from the outside, not to get too wild and careless,” said the Team Lakay mentor. “As always, we look for every opportunity for the takedown, if the situation will call for it. Lito is very good with his submissions. I don’t think anyone wants to go to the ground with him.”