When Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang returns to the ONE Championship Circle in January, he’ll not only bear the pressure of a quick turnaround from an ACL tear, but he’ll be carrying with him the memories of his late father, who passed away this past October.
Adiwang takes on Mansur Malachiev at ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov on 14 January at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, and he’ll be highly motivated to bounce back in the most impressive fashion for his old man.
The Team Lakay dynamo tore his ACL in his all-Filipino match against Jeremy Miado at ONE X in March, and after going under the knife in May to reconstruct his torn ligament, Adiwang needed just six months to recover and prepare for this.
From the injury to the recovery to the unexpected loss, Adiwang knows that there’s only one thing that can get his head straight – martial arts and competition.
“With the trials in my career and life, I’ve tasted defeat in the game, injury, and losses in life. It’s painful and demoralizing. I did reach my breaking point, but [I know] that if I [succumb] to this emotional and painful feeling, this can be my downfall,” Adiwang said.
“This time, I just need to hold my head up high. I need to collect and compose myself and hold on to my belief that God put me here for a reason, and that I still have a purpose to fulfill – to become a champion in my career.”
It’s such a heavy burden for Adiwang to bear, especially since he specifically asked his father to hold on for just a bit longer to see him compete in Bangkok.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be, and now he’s coming into Thailand’s capital fired up, knowing that his parents will be watching over him.
“With the help of martial arts, I know that I can put my pain and frustration into training and it can ease my pain. I got something that I will put my mind and focus on. Also, I want to fulfill my promise to my father to fight in January,” he added. “I am happy that I at least saw both of my parents happy in my career as a martial artist before they moved on to the next life, even if I did not finish the [university] degree just like they wanted. But I showed them that martial arts is where I belong, and I used it to change our lives for the better.
“That’s how thankful I am to martial arts, because it helps me to reach my highest high and helps me to recover in my lowest moments. And that’s why I’m taking this fight, to honor my promise to my father, make [my parents] proud in what I do, and to get back on track in chasing my dream to become a champion.”
Download the ONE Super App to catch all the action at ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov on Saturday, 14 January, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
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