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Adiwang featured at ONE Championship’s first offering this year

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ONE Championship opens its 2021 season on Jan. 22 with “ONE: Unbreakable” which has Filipino mixed martial artist Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang among the featured fighters.

Happening as the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Unbreakable is a six-fight offering from ONE, which the promotion hopes will set the pace for it as it tries to rebound from a coronavirus pandemic-disrupted 2020.

The Philippines will be represented in the event, with Team Lakay’s Adiwang (11-3) going up against Hexigetu of China in a three-round strawweight joust.

Mr. Adiwang is looking to bounce back from a narrow split decision loss to Japan’s Koha “Hiroba” Minowa last November.

The loss stopped for the Filipino strawweight a seven-fight winning streak in MMA — two in the main roster of ONE — and something Mr. Adiwang wants to stop in his upcoming fight.

“Nothing has changed in my mindset. The goal remains the same for me. I’m climbing to the top. If anything, I just got more motivated and driven. I want to prove myself in this next fight, and to do that, I have to be at my best,” said Mr. Adiwang, a product of the ONE Warrior Series, in a release.

“Expect a better, stronger, and wiser Thunder Kid next time. Definitely, surviving and learning from all the challenges and setbacks that came my way has made me a better person, a better fighter.”

Added motivation for Mr. Adiwang to do well in his Circle return is to honor the memory of his late mother, who he lost last month.

“There is nothing a mother wants more than to see her child happy and successful. I know my mother loved me so much, and she just really didn’t want me to get hurt, which is why she didn’t fully accept me being a fighter with her whole heart,” he said.

“But I chose this career, and I believe she was happy to see me succeed in what I love to do. I know in my heart she is proud of me, and I will continue to live my life in her honor.”

Mr. Adiwang’s opponent, Hexigetu (7-3), meanwhile, is on a roll, winning his last three fights, the most recent of which a split decision conquest of Thailand’s Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke last October.

ONE: Unbreakable is headlined by the ONE bantamweight kickboxing world championship clash between reigning champion Alaverdi Ramazanov of Russia and challenger Capitan Petchyindee Academy of Thailand.

Co-headliner is the lightweight battle between former champion Shinya Aoki of Japan and American James Nakashima.

Also on tap is Serbian heavyweight kickboxer Rade Opacic against Swiss Patrick Schmid; welterweight Zebaztian Kadestam of Sweden versus Gadzhimurad Abdulaev of Russia; and atomweights Meng Bo of China and Samara Santos of Brazil.

In the Philippines, Cignal TV and TV5 are the broadcast homes of ONE Championship. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo