Baguio City’s Lito Adiwang hopes to follow in the successful footsteps of his Team Lakay brothers and sisters
Santino Honasan on Oct 08, 2018 02:16 PM
Could Lito Adiwang be the next star to come out of Benguet-based Team Lakay?
Baguio City has emerged as a hotbed for martial arts talent in the Philippines, and it’s thanks largely to the efforts and achievements of Team Lakay.
Widely regarded as the premier mixed martial arts stable in the country, the La Trinidad, Benguet-based Team Lakay is home to world champions and top-tier talent including former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario, reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio, and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio, just to name a few.
Under the mentoring of head coach Mark Sangiao, Team Lakay has unquestionably helped put Philippine mixed martial arts on the map and has emerged as one of the most esteemed gyms in Asia.
As well-represented as Team Lakay is on the ONE Championship roster however, there are even more talents in the gym’s pipeline that are just waiting to get their chance, and one of those is 25-year old Lito Adiwang, who will soon be getting his big break.
During a tryout for ONE Warrior Series in Baguio, Adiwang impressed ONE Championship vice president and mixed martial arts hall of famer Rich Franklin enough to earn a spot on the finale of the second season of the ONE Warrior Series.
The second time was the charm for Adiwang, who failed to make the cut during the show’s first season.
Born and raised in Baguio City, Adiwang was a student of the sweet science of boxing before making his transition in to mixed martial arts.
Before making the jump though, Adiwang asked for a sign from above, and he got one in spectacular fashion.
Adiwang decided to let his first bout decide his future in mixed martial arts. A win, of course, meant that he would dedicate his life to the sport.
“I tried to pray to the Lord to show me the signs, and the sign came. When the fight started, I was so nervous that my first punch, I knocked the guy out,” he shared.
Adiwang added that looking up to Filipino icon and eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao helped ignite a competitive fire inside of him.
“I was a fan of Manny Pacquiao as a kid, watching him knocking everyone out and being the champion, there’s a fire in me that suddenly, wanting this, grew. And that’s how I transitioned to martial arts,” he explained.
Sporting a 6-2 professional mixed martial arts record, Adiwang now has the golden opportunity to join his Team Lakay seniors on the ONE Championship roster.
“I always look upon my seniors, starting with my coach Mark Sangiao, Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, and Kevin Belingon,” he stated.
Furthermore, Adiwang hopes to one day follow in his seniors’ successful footsteps and become a world champion as well.
“Being here in ONE Warrior Series is awesome, I’m happy, but I need to train well and improve. My goal is to be the World Champion.”
Adiwang will compete on the Season 2 finale of the ONE Warrior Series on Thursday, 11 October in Singapore for a chance to win a a $100,000++ USD ONE Championship contract.