Lito Adiwang has one goal in mind when he steps inside the ring this Saturday, November 4 — to put the nightmare of his previous encounter against Jeremy Miado to rest.
The 30-year-old Baguio City native gets his shot at redemption when he runs it back with Miado on the undercard of ONE Fight Night 16, which takes place at the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Adiwang and Miado first locked horns in March 2022, and the clash possessed all the components for an unforgettable showdown.
Both men brought their A-game, and it lived up to the hype for nearly eight minutes into the matchup. However, just as the battle was reaching its zenith, fate took a cruel turn.
In the second round of the bout, Adiwang suffered a knee injury that quickly led to a stoppage win in favor of Miado.
“Thunder Kid” found it difficult to accept the outcome, feeling that victory had been unjustly taken away from him.
“It hurt a lot because I lost in a way that I wasn’t expecting,” Adiwang told Tiebreaker Times.
“I honestly would have accepted if I lost by submission or via knockout, or if it was a clear loss for me on the scorecards. But losing due to injury in a match where I honestly felt like I was winning, it really hurt.”
The injury was ultimately identified as an ACL tear, causing Adiwang to sit out for 18 months.
The road to recovery was long and challenging, but Adiwang emerged from it remarkably. He authored a comeback for the ages this past September, dismantling Adrian Mattheis in just 23 seconds.
Despite accomplishing a triumphant return from a career-threatening injury, Adiwang hasn’t forgotten about Miado.
“I knew deep down inside me that I needed the rematch to have some closure. At the same time, I want to answer my inner thoughts as to who really won the first fight and who’s the better fighter between us,” he said.
The former ranked strawweight contender’s mind is now solely focused on exacting payback, and he no longer wants to mull over what transpired during their initial meeting.
“For me, it is what it is. I don’t dwell on the past. Now, both of us have the opportunity to end this once and for all,” Adiwang stressed.
“In the first fight, I’d say I did my best to dictate the pace and get the win. Well, that fight is in the past, and I want to focus on the rematch.”
Although the last time he shared the same stage with Miado was heartbreaking, Adiwang sees a silver lining that has helped him in his scouting report.
“This time around, I’ll concentrate on areas where I believe I have an advantage over him. I’ll also put more emphasis on my defense, apart from focusing on where I went wrong in the first fight,” he shared.
“In this rematch, the aim is to dominate from the get-go.”
As the date of their rematch approaches, Adiwang only feels a rush of excitement coursing through his veins.
“To be honest, all I can think of right now is excitement. Right now, I’m not feeling any pressure or anything else. I know our fans are ecstatic about this. Everyone is interested in seeing how this will play out.”