Suffering a serious knee injury is a devastating blow for any athlete. For Lito Adiwang these feelings can only have been exasperated by the sight of his opponent, Jeremy Miado, celebrating wildly.
It is not a sight Adiwang is likely to forget in a hurry. He has been handed an unexpected opportunity to avenge that defeat at ONE Fight Night 17 next month.
Adiwang rematches Miado and he admits that the scenes from the first fight still play on his mind,
“There are a lot of what-ifs from that fight, and I don’t like that.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) July 5, 2023
It took Adiwang over a year to return to the ring after that defeat. His comeback could not have gone much better as the Filipino finished Adrian Mattheis in the opening round at ONE Friday Fights 34.
All that Adiwang asks ahead of the rematch is that the fight can play out without either man suffering an unexpected injury,
“Once and for all, we’re gonna be facing each other again. I know fans are excited. I’m excited as well. I’m just praying that we get to show what we’re capable of without injuries, so that we can reach the expectations of the fans and satisfy our expectations within ourselves as well.”
Starting with a BANG 💥
Lito Adiwang 🇵🇭 stops Adrian Mattheis in 23 seconds! ⚡#ONEFridayFights34 | 🔴 Live Now
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🌍 Also available… pic.twitter.com/HAjMhsW6uh
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 22, 2023
Miado came in for a lot of criticism for the way he celebrated the win. None of it came from his opponent or his camp and Adiwang has a lot of sympathy for his upcoming opponent,
“To Jeremy, I know you’re preparing well. I know you’re frustrated with the result as well. I know there are a lot of people bugging you after that fight, and all I can say is let’s finish this now.”
Adiwang was getting the better of the first fight but it finished too early to draw any real conclusions. He definitely feels he can hurt Miado with leg kicks though,
“Looking back, my leg kicks were working in that fight and it’s still something that I plan to use but now we’re looking to incorporate everything. I’m working on connecting everything from leg kicks to punches to timing that takedown.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) November 26, 2021
There was no way for Adiwang to know the first fight would be called off midway through the second round. But he regrets not taking a more aggressive approach and has learned from that mistake,
“In this fight, I believe I need to push more. In our first fight, we were both feeling it out, waiting for one to make a mistake. I wasn’t that aggressive. This time, I need to be more active, more aggressive, but in a smart way.”
Last time out he finished a very experienced opponent at Lumpinee Stadium. Adiwang returns to the scene of that triumph and is anticipating exactly the same outcome next month,
“This is going to be a finish, whether it be a knockout or submission by yours truly, the ‘Thunder Kid’.”