Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang returns to the ONE Championship Circle eager to thrill fans who have anxiously awaited his return. But whether his upcoming match will win fans over depends on the eagerness of his dance partner.
Adiwang takes on “Wolf of the Grasslands” Hexigetu in a three-round mixed martial arts bout at ONE: REVOLUTION on September 24. It’s a crucial match between two strawweights lingering just outside the top five of the rankings.
The Team Lakay star expects a tough clash against his Chinese foe who has won his last three bouts, but he’s confident he can put an end to Hexigetu’s hot streak.
“He’ll run around, strike a little, and then shoot – but I’ve prepared something for him to finish him off,” Adiwang said.
“But if he wants to stand toe-to-toe with me, that’s better for me. That means I’ll have a better opportunity to finish him with strikes or a submission.”
What worries him the most though is how Hexigetu will engage him.
In the Chinese’s last outing, he was a tad hesitant in banging with former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, though it worked in Hexigetu’s favor as he came away with a split-decision.
“In his last bout against Dejdamrong, he was backpedaling a lot. But if he feels like he can take on his opponent, he puts on the pressure,” Adiwang said.
“It’s much more difficult to face opponents who backpedal all the time. I’m much more confident and prepared against someone who is in my face and going toe-to-toe with me.”
And Adiwang has learned his lessons, especially with sitting back and waiting.
He cites his match against Hiroba Minowa where the Japanese man frustrated him, resulting in Adiwang making a lot of mistakes, which Minowa took advantage of en route to a split decision win.
“This is where we look back and take the positive from the loss against Hiroba. They’re a bit similar. I was rushing to finish him, to the point that I was making mistakes each time I rushed in,” Adiwang said.
“It always resulted in a takedown for him. So that’s one positive thing from that fight – it pretty much prepares me for this match.”
Adiwang is hopeful that won’t be the case this time around, because if Hexigetu decides to play the Filipino’s game, he’s confident about the outcome.
“That’s going to be the wrong move for him,” Adiwang said.
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