Some fighters are never the same after undergoing knee surgery. It doesn’t seem like Lito Adiwang will be one of them though as he put in the most impressive performance of his career to date in his comeback fight.
Adiwang tore his ACL at ONE: ‘X’ last year. He would spend more than 18 months on the sidelines after going under the knife and then seeing his comeback delayed by doctor’s orders.
Adiwang has been scheduled to compete at ONE Fight Night 6 in January. But his knee had not recovered and the Filipino had to wait another eight months to finally fight again.
But Adiwang must feel it was worth the wait after knocking out experienced Indonesian Adrian Mattheis in 23 seconds.
Starting with a BANG 💥
Lito Adiwang 🇵🇭 stops Adrian Mattheis in 23 seconds! ⚡ pic.twitter.com/oWGq4OeC73
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 22, 2023
A counter right hook dropped Mattheis and from there Adiwang finished the show ruthlessly. He mounted the stunned Indonesian and unloaded punches until the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
Interestingly Adiwang was representing Team Lakay in this fight. He hasn’t trained there in several months and prepared for this bout in Bali
but was clearly not part of the exodus of fighters from that gym.
Adiwang might not have had Mark Sangiao in his corner but he fought in the sort of style that fans have come to associate with Team Lakay fighters. First he hurt Mattheis badly with his strikes and then he went all out for the ground and pound finish in a display of pure, unadulterated aggression.
With the win Adiwang improve to 14-5 and snaps his two fight losing skid, although the most recent loss was only due to that unfortunate injury. Mattheis has fought 18 times for ONE Championship and no-one has ever finished him this fast.
The fight was over so fast that Mattheis never got the chance to test Adiwang’s knee. The 30 year old won’t be able to finish all his opponents in under 30 seconds but he is well and truly back and will be looking to regain his ranking in the strawweight division.
Among the first people to congratulate Adiwang were Team Lakay. The 30 year old might not be spending much time there these days but he clearly has a close relationship with the camp where he made his name.