Team Lakay Phenom Lito Adiwang Inching Towards World Title Conversation

ONE Championship #5-ranked strawweight contender Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang of the Philippines is one of the most explosive mixed martial artists in the world today. He’s arguably the promotion’s fastest rising star, and this Friday night, Adiwang gets the opportunity to continue his rise through the ranks in a highly-anticipated return to the ONE Circle.

Adiwang will take on former Shooto Champion Hiroba Minowa of Japan in a three-round strawweight mixed martial arts contest at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, a previously-recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, scheduled for global air this Friday, 13 November.

The Team Lakay proponent is currently riding a seven-bout winning streak, with all but one of those seven wins coming by way of exciting finish. Needless to say, all eyes are on Adiwang’s next performance, and he needs just a handful of victories left before he enters the title conversation.

“I feel like I only need a few more wins to be considered a title contender, especially sitting in the top five right now. But of course, I’ll let ONE Championship decide whether I’m ready or not. I just have to focus on getting better with each fight. That’s my main goal,” said Adiwang.

“I am happy to be labelled as one of Team Lakay’s next biggest stars. I’m on my way to proving that I deserve this status, and I want to make all of my dreams present and reality. It’s a long, hard road to the top, but I’m willing to give whatever it takes to reach my dreams.”

Against Minowa, Adiwang faces a formidable foe who sports a similar professional record and a common career trajectory. Just like Adiwang, Minowa is a proven finisher, having ended all 10 of his victories inside the distance, along the way capturing a Shooto Strawweight World Championship.

Minowa is making his ONE Championship debut and wants to shake things up in a big way. A win over one of the promotion’s most promising talents in Adiwang would certainly make waves in the division.

“Fans can expect an exciting and a good show every time I step into the Circle. I will always give my best in every fight. I want to thank everyone for their support. It means a lot to me,” said Adiwang.

“I’m not taking Minowa lightly. I know he is a good finisher, just like I am. So I can’t get caught. I have to maintain my concentration heading into this. If I can beat him decisively, I think that should move me up in the rankings. I’m looking forward to a good, fun fight.”

ONE Championship returns with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX III, a previously-recorded event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore for global broadcast this Friday night, 13 November. In the main event, former ONE Bantamweight World Champion and #1-ranked bantamweight contender Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of the Philippines faces #5-ranked bantamweight contender John “Hands of Stone” Lineker of Brazil.

Of course, there’s that lingering problem up top. The current king of the strawweight division is Adiwang’s teammate, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio. While both men and their shared camp haven’t completely ruled out a battle between the two for the World Title, Adiwang would rather not have to face his ‘brother’ in the Circle.

A move up in weight is an option for Adiwang, but he says we’re still way ahead of that discussion.

“For now, it’s still too early to say because I’m focused on clearing out the division. I’ll let the future decide,” said Adiwang.

“If I can get a few more wins, maybe spark up that conversation a little bit, then we’ll see when we get there. Right now, I have a very dangerous opponent in front of me in Minowa. I can’t underestimate him.”

Watch the event this Friday, 13 November on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.

Author: Fight Game Asia

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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