Lito Adiwang doesn’t mind getting criticisms, especially if it’s something that will fuel his passion as far as mixed martial arts is concerned.
In fact, Adiwang would always thank his haters for bringing that extra motivation every time steps into the Circle.
But sometimes, these hate comments would reach below the belt and the Team Lakay stalwart is not going to stay silent about it.
“I have a message na (that) as a person, as a human, please, we’re just humans also. Athlete lang kami sa iisang sports so try to pag-isipan ‘yong mga ico-comment o mga sasabihin (We’re just athletes in our own sports so try to think twice before commenting),” an emotional Adiwang told Manila Bulletin in a recent Zoom interview. “Kasi nakakaapekto rin ‘yan sa amin. Kung alam niyong medyo talagang below the belt na, please keep it to yourself. Support na lang (It also affects us. If you know that it’s kind of below the belt, please keep it to yourself. We just needed support).”
The worse part is that Adiwang, 27, isn’t really fond of social media. At the very least, he stays away from the virtual world especially when fight night is nearing. At times though, it cannot be helped when Adiwang needs to check on something online and that’s where the dilemma begins.
When Adiwang tested positive for COVID-19 last April, alongside ONE Championship newcomer Stephen Loman, he admitted feeling down due to hate comments he had been receiving without disclosing any specifics.
“In a week, six days kami positive. Masakit sa amin (In a week, we tested positive for six days. It hurts to know that),” recalled Adiwang. “I’m asking for your support dito. Magtulungan na lang tayo. Kung wala kayong tiwala, don’t say anything. ‘Wag na lang kayong mag-comment. The best is magtulungan tayo (All I’m asking if your support. Let’s help each other. Now if you don’t trust us, don’t say anything. Don’t comment. The best way is to help each other).”
The news drew mixed reactions from fight fans and Adiwang noticed that there were people who also messaged him personally, giving their opinion to think twice about it.
It did not sit too well with Adiwang and expressed that he’s not doing it for show but to prove himself as a martial artist and to bring glory to the Philippines, considering the dream bout as a personal mission.
“That’s my mission hindi lang as an athlete (not only as an athlete). I want to change something here. Gusto ko lang talaga mangyari ‘tong laban na ‘to to prove something (I want this to happen to prove something),” added Adiwang, who holds a 12-3 MMA record. “I’ll do my best to win the fight and express my feelings and hoping na ma-encourage at ma-motivate tayo lalo na para sa ating bansa (hoping that I’ll get encouraged and motivated for my country).”
The decision will ultimately boil down on ONE Championship and it is still unknown in which field they will face.
Adiwang last saw action in January with a second-round knockout win over Japanese foe Namiki Kawahara and the “Thunder Kid” has been consistently training since the postponement of his fight against No. 1 world strawweight Jarred Brooks last April.