An ongoing dispute over maritime territory means there is always more at stake when Filipino fighters face off with their Chinese counterparts. For Lito Adiwang it is more personal, his teammate Eduard Folayang recently lost to Zhang Lipeng and he wants revenge.

Adiwang faces Hexigetu in a strawweight bout at ONE: ‘Revolution’ and will be fighting for his ‘kababayan’,

“This is redemption for me and my team. On my end, it’s hard to see someone I look up to, our pioneer in Eduard, lose against Zhang Lipeng. Now, I’m facing Hexigetu, and they’re from the same country. I need to do my part and get one back for me and the team.”

Running away

Adiwang believes Hexigetu will run away and shoot for a takedown but he plans to finish the Chinese strawweight,

“I think he’ll run around, strike a little, and then shoot but I’ve prepared something for him to finish him off. But if he wants to stand toe-to-toe with me, that’s better for me. That means I’d have a better opportunity to finish him with strikes or a submission.”

He would prefer to fight an opponent who is willing to meet him in the middle of the cage and trade punches,

“I think it’s much more difficult to face opponents who backpedal all the time. I’m much more confident and prepared against someone who would be at my face and go toe-to-toe with me.”

Staying focused 

He is co confident Hexigetu will run away that he has come up with a gameplan to force the Chinese fighter to engage,

“I try to look at it as a puzzle. We prepared a gameplan just so we don’t get frustrated if he decides to run in our clash. The most important thing is to stay focused and locked in, stay the course and don’t play his game.

It is a real fight rather than a maritime dispute. But with patriotic pride at stake and revenge on his mind it is one Adiwang definitely doesn’t want to lose.