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Mixed Martial Arts

Lito Adiwang wants Yosuke Saruta this year


Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang has big plans even after stumbling in his final ONE Championship assignment for 2021.

The Team Lakay dynamo is eyeing a showdown with no. 2-ranked strawweight Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta in 2022 in hopes of staying within striking distance of the top contenders in the strawweight division.

This desire comes after dropping a second-round submission loss to the now no. 3-ranked Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks this past November. That setback made him hungrier and more motivated to bounce back next year.

“I want a big comeback – I still want a big name. I want to challenge Yosuke Saruta. Maybe if ONE allows it, and he wants it, then I’ll take it,” the sanda expert said.

“Saruta is someone who I really want to test myself against. It’s a big risk for me because I’m coming off a loss, but I want a great comeback and a big name in my return, so I don’t fall far off from the rankings.”

Take away the loss to Brooks, and the 28-year-old Filipino still had an impressive year.

“Thunder Kid” had a rousing start to 2021, bouncing back from his decision loss to Hiroba Minowa the year before. He featured in a one-punch knockout over another Japanese athlete in Namiki Kawahara.

He continued his dominance against “The Wolf of the Grasslands” Hexigetu for three rounds to prove that he remains a force to be reckoned with.

“2021 started good, and in a way, it still ended well for me. Even though I lost in my last fight, I’m very positive that I’ve gained a lot from that loss. I learned a big lesson from that match, especially when it comes to experience,” the two-time Philippine National Wushu Champion said.

#ReadMore  Lito Adiwang wants Yoshitaka Naito next

That perspective is why he’s not losing sleep after stumbling against Brooks. The experience he acquired this year will make him better in 2022 and beyond.

“I’ve finally experienced what it’s like to be in the main event of a card, and of course, the level of my opponent was very high. These are the things that I’ll be bringing into my next fights,” he said.

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