Lito Adiwang happy and honored to receive praise from boss after ONE: Century debut
Santino Honasan on Oct 15, 2019 09:21 AM
Lito Adiwang's impressive debut at ONE: Century drew praise from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Filipino strawweight prospect Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang of Team Lakay made his official ONE Championship debut on the preliminary card of ONE: Century Part 1, Sunday morning at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, and immediately, he made an impact.
The 26-year old Adiwang, who earned a ONE contract after three straight victories in ONE Warrior Series, was primarily seen as a striker, but showcased a different facet of his game in his first foray into the big stage.
Matched up against a crafty veteran grappler and former Pancrase champion in Japan’s Senzo Ikeda, Adiwang proved that he can grapple as well, executing a beautiful judo throw straight into a keylock that ultimately spelled the end.
Ikeda ended up suffering an arm injury, leading to the TKO win for Adiwang.
It was the lone bright spot for an otherwise rough night for the Pinoy contingent in Tokyo that night, and Adiwang’s spectacular debut earned praise from ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
“I was blown away by Lito’s performance. He had a very very tough opponent, Senzo Ikeda is obviously a Pancrase champion, a very very tough warrior,” Sityodtong said during the post-event press conference. “I thought that fight was going to go three full rounds of both guys going all out, so I was shocked by that Judo throw immediately to a keylock, I was blown away. Incredible performance, so I think that’s the perfect debut you could ever ask for, especially coming off ONE Warrior Series.”
Adiwang joins a growing list of ONE Warrior Series graduates who are looking to do big things in their ONE careers, bannered by none other than two-sport world champion Stamp Fairtex of Thailand.
Adiwang’s impressive debut, Sityodtong believes, is just the beginning of what could be a very good ONE career.
“That’s why we have ONE Warrior Series, right? Rich Franklin scouring the entire world for the next and best prospects that could make it up to ONE Championship. Lito has a Cinderella fairy tale story, so let’s see how far he can go, but definitely, with Team Lakay and Mark Sangiao, I think the sky is the limit for Lito.”
For his part, Adiwang was happy to hear that his hard work and his efforts have not gone unnoticed.
"I feel very happy and honored na, at least they notice the hard work that I’ve put in through all the training and all the performances I’ve delivered, so I’m very thankful and honored," he expressed.