Lito Adiwang is injured and will no longer be competing at ONE on Prime Video 6. The Filipino was set to make his comeback after spending nearly a year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
He was scheduled to take on undefeated Russian Mansur Malachiev at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on January 20th. It would have been the Filipino’s first fight since March when Adiwang tore his ACL.
He underwent surgery and was scheduled to make his comeback next month. But Adiwang’s knee still appears to be troubling him and he has pulled out of the fight:
Adiwang’s comeback will not be taking place next month. It remains to be seen whether ONE Championship will find a replacement opponent for Malachiev who was scheduled to make his promotional debut on the card.
While preparing for the contest at Team Lakay he started to feel pain in the knee while and was advised to take 60 days rest. Adiwang gave all the details to ABS-CBN:
My mind is 1,000 percent ready to go to war but suddenly, my knee is not cooperating and it’s getting worse when I try to push it hard for training. As per the advice of my doctor, I’ll give it some time to recover and continue my therapy to strengthen it.
It sounds like he is still determined to become the ONE Championship strawweight champion:
It’s heartbreaking to withdraw but I need to think for the best and look at the big picture. I may not fulfill my promise this time, but this made me focus to the bigger promise that I gave to both of my parents that one day I will become a world champion.
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It looks like a long road back to title contention for Adiwang. The 29 year old is coming off back to back losses and it sounds like he won’t be ready to start training again for at least another two months.
It is a shame because one of the obstacles between him and the belt was removed last month. His teammate Joshua Pacio dropped a decision to Jarred Brooks at ONE 164, with the American crowned the new strawweight champion.
There was no prospect of Adiwang ever fighting Pacio. The two are teammates and train together every day at Team Lakay in Baguio but no such issue exists with Brooks who has a longstanding rivalry with the team.
That rivalry stems from 2021 when Brooks fought Adiwang and had plenty to say in the buildup. The Filipino needs to rehabilitate his knee and get a few wins under his belt before he can even think about challenging the strawweight champion.
But Adiwang has a very clear goal and he is determined that this latest setback won’t stop him from realizing it.