Coming off an emphatic bounce-back win against Namiki Kawahara during ONE: Unbreakable, Lito Adiwang was dead-set on avenging his loss against Hiroshi Minowa.
But ONE Championship threw a curveball at him.
Adiwang will now welcome world-renowned grappler Jarred Brooks to the Circle come ONE on TNT II on April 15.
Safe to say, this is the biggest fight the 27-year-old Team Lakay standout has been booked in.
“Sa tingin ko ang kakaiba sa kanya ay ‘yung mental toughness and talagang ‘yung will niya to impose himself in a fight. Talagang kung gusto i-takedown ka, talagang gagawin niya ‘yun until he finishes his moves,” he said.
“‘Yun ang isang talagang weapon niya and strength niya. So ‘yun, pinaghahandaan ko ‘yun.”
Brooks is leaps and bounds a different mixed martial artist compared to Minowa.
The 27-year-old Mash Fight Team standout has competed in every major promotion there is, including the UFC.
During his four-fight tenure in the UFC, he figured in a highly contentious bout against current World Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo in October of 2017. He later knocked himself out in a second round loss against Shorty Torres eight months later. He also eked out two split decision wins over Eric Shelton and Roberto Sanchez.
Since those two losses, he has racked four straight wins, and has earned the status as the world’s top strawweight.
Many consider Brooks as one of the most dangerous grapplers in the game. Still, Adiwang believes that on the feet, he is on a whole different level.
“I saw some of his fights and I respect his striking kasi… Lalo na MMA ‘to na sometimes ‘yung mga wild punch or kicks ang makakatapos ng laban. But comparing striking, nakikita ko na, I think, I believe na medyo malayo ang agwat namin. So ‘yun ang edge ko sa kanya. This is my base, striking, and I’ve been doing this ever since nag-start pa ko,” he opined.
“I think parang masasabi ko na Grade One to Grade Six.”
Come ONE on TNT II, Adiwang is ready to show his improved wrestling defense as he plans to stand up and bang against Brooks.
“Tingin ko sa laban na ‘to magiging ano, expected maging barn-burner kasi fight style niya medyo ano, medyo talagang pampapagod na laban kasi wrestler, and he’ll try to dominate you on the ground so I’ll try to deal with that. I’ll try to counter that.”