It will be a battle between two finishers when Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang takes on Namiki Kawahara in a strawweight mixed martial arts clash this Friday, January 22, at ONE: UNBREAKABLE inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Kawahara might’ve stepped in as a late replacement for Adiwang’s original opponent, “Wolf Of The Grasslands” Hexigetu, but the Japanese Mixed Martial Arts Champion made sure he was in tip-top shape before accepting the match.
“Before I got the offer, I was training and my condition was really good, so I had to take it,” Kawahara told ONEFC.com.
“The reason I decided to fight Lito is because he is a good fighter, a dangerous fighter, and if I beat him, I’ll be closer to the ONE [Strawweight] World Championship. It will be a big win for me, so I am excited.”
In his seven wins, Kawahara has only reached the final bell once, having finished his other six opponents in dominant fashion.
Now, he plans to finish Adiwang just the same in his promotional debut in The Home Of Martial Arts.
“All I’m thinking about is finishing him, that’s my aim. If it’s stand-up, I’ll knock him out. If it goes to the ground, I will submit him. It’s as simple as that,” Kawahara said.
“I will show not just a win, but a good win, and I will crack into the strawweight top five. After that, it will be the World Championship.”
While Kawahara plans to strike early and strike hard, Adiwang – who’s made a name for himself as one of the most aggressive athletes in the promotion – plans to be more technical.
The 27-year-old said that he’s learned his lesson from his loss to Hiroba Minowa last year, and that he plans to use his energy in a smarter way against Kawahara.
“Against Minowa, I went there and exhausted all my power in the first round. I thought I can just come in and finish him quickly but that didn’t work,” Adiwang said.
But while Adiwang plans to fight a lot smarter, that won’t come at the expense of his exciting style.
“Every time I enter the Circle, I am always looking for the finish. Whether I’m aggressive or technical, I still want to go for that big finish,” Adiwang said.
“I don’t want to be boring. I’m a fighter, but also at the same time, I’m a fan. If I’m watching myself, I don’t want a boring fight. I want it to still be exciting. I want to be watchable, but at the same time, I have to think as well.”
With that said, Kawahara, on the other hand, doesn’t expect this match to reach the final bell.
“It’s the first bout [of the card], but the opening bout is going to be awesome, aggressive,” Kawahara said.
“It’s going to be a knockout fight, but only one man is going to be standing at the end.”
Watch ONE: UNBREAKABLE live and for free on One Sports and One Sports+ or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT).
Also, TV5 will air the action on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT on Saturday, January 23.
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