Lito Adiwang Wants To Test Himself Against Yoshitaka Naito
Lito Adiwang has made a huge impact in the ONE strawweight division, beating Senzo Ikeda at ONE: Century and Pongsiri Mitsatit at ONE: Fire And Fury. Both via first round finishes. Prior to that, ‘Thunder Kid’ scored three straight victories on Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, which earned him his full contract with ONE Championship.
Adiwang is currently sits at number five in the ONE strawweight rankings, but believes he still has a lot to prove.
“All of [my fellow ranked strawweights] are good challenges. As someone who’s in the bottom of the rankings, I have to prove myself,” Adiwang told ONE Championship.
The 27-year-old Filipino thinks the former ONE strawweight champion Yoshitaka Naito would be a perfect test for him.
“I want to test my ground game against an elite grappler, and that guy is [number two ranked strawweight, Yoshitaka] Naito. He’s an excellent grappler, and you know he will try to force you to play his game on the ground. That’s why it’s a perfect test for me,” Adiwang explained.
‘Nobita’ does have what it takes to elevate Adiwang’s status inside of the ONE strawweight division. And although he acknowledges that Naito’s experience could present him with some difficulties, the Baguio City native is confident that he would get his hand raised.
“As always, I feel like my advantage against Naito is my strong mind. Every time I enter the Circle, I always put in my mind that I’ve already won,” Adiwang said. “I just need to put in the work. One advantage he has over me is his experience, as he has fought many times already in the Circle and he knows how to win.”
The Team Lakay up-and-comer also wishes to prove that his team isn’t all about striking, and that they have what it takes to compete with the top grapplers in the game.
“I want to prove to everyone that we in Team Lakay are not just strikers and that we continuously work on our ground game.
“I want the fans to appreciate the hard work that we’re putting in each day to improve our skills on the ground. I won my last two fights via submission, but there are still a lot of negative comments saying that I only won on the ground because I took on strikers,” Adiwang explained.
Adiwang believes that his grappling skills are sufficient enough to defeat Naito in his own domain.
“I am confident with the hard work that I put in. And I am confident I have what it takes to submit a submission artist.”
How do you think Lito Adiwang would fare against Yoshitaka Naito?