There's no need for Lito "Thunder Kid" Adiwang to look for extra motivation when he takes on Jarred "The Monkey God" Brooks in the main event of the previously recorded ONE: NEXTGEN III, which airs this Friday, November 26, from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The #5-ranked strawweight has been embroiled in a heated verbal exchange with the American wrestling star ever since this fight became public knowledge. With the clash just a few days away, the Filipino dynamo who won nine of his last ten fights can't wait.
"I'm just excited. And I hope he's excited as well because I've been preparing for him," Adiwang said.
"I don't think he has excuses anymore because the postponement gave us both time to prepare longer. I don't want to say anything anymore, I'm just excited. Let's go. Let's get this done."
Aside from their fiery banter in various interviews, "Thunder Kid" is also eager to prove that the world's best strawweights belong in The Home of Martial Arts, and there's no better showdown to rest his case than against Brooks.
Brooks first made a name for himself out west, becoming one of the top flyweights in the UFC before returning to strawweight to test himself against ONE's best.
With that in mind, the Benguet-based fighter with an 85 percent finishing rate knows that a strong performance against the wrestler from Michigan would get his point across.
"That's my goal and dream ever since [I started competing]. I want to test my skills against the best and especially the guys coming from the UFC," the fighter from Team Lakay said.
"I want this fight to be an eye-opener for everyone. A lot of people think nowadays, maybe because of the marketing, that they're untouchable, that they are the best in the world.
"So, in this fight, I'm very, very excited to prove that ONE Championship athletes are the best in the world."
The match is also the perfect way for Adiwang to gauge how far his wrestling skills have improved since falling short against Hiroba Minowa last year.
The 28-year-old has been working extra hard on his grappling since struggling with the Japanese athlete’s takedowns and ground control in that contest. He believes that this impending clash would be the perfect avenue to showcase his progress, mainly because Brooks is undefeated at strawweight.
"I've watched some of [his] fights, and yeah, I respect the wrestling and his ground control. But the thing is, this is a good time for me to show my skills there," Adiwang said.
"Most of my previous fights have been just purely striking, and no one really pushed me to fight on the ground, so yeah, I'm excited for this. This is a good fight, let's go."
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