ONE Championship

Lito Adiwang: Difficult Childhood to Global MMA Stage, here is his story so far

Lito Adiwang comes from a rural region of the Philippines. He had a very difficult childhood as his parents had to struggle to make ends meet. Adiwang, from his early age itself, started working so that he could help support his family.

Adiwang competes out of Team Lakay and is considered as the face of Team Lakay’s new generation. But his journey to the top wasn’t an easy one.

The dream that started from his school days 

Adiwang, from his school days itself, wished to join Team Lakay and try out wushu. But during that time he wasn’t able to afford the fees that were required to join the gym. Adiwang being determined to start his career in martial arts got an opportunity thanks to a spiritual conversation with one of the coaches of The Association Of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines. The coach recruited him and Adiwang started his training in Boxing.

Being the natural talent that he is, he was eventually recruited to represent the Philippines in Wushu at the Asian Games. Soon after the Asian Games, Adiwang started to compete as a professional in mixed martial arts. He was competing out of Trial Submission at that time. He was a player coach at Trial Submission and made his debut in mixed martial arts in 2012 at the Universal Reality Combat Championship.

As matches were very less in number and happened very far between, Adiwang found it difficult to manage his finances. It was during this time that he decided to move to Malaysia to become a coach at MuayFit. At MuayFit he was able to earn more money than what he was making back home as a player coach. He moved to MuayFit with the idea of competing in the new country but that didn’t happen as he got stuck coaching.

During his time at MuayFit, he met a student named Yoh Fong who pushed Adiwang to follow his dreams and even offered to send Adiwang to Thailand for training to become a professional fighter. After three years of working at MuayFit, Adiwang decided to grab this opportunity and flew to Thailand to work with AKA Thailand.

Joining Team Lakay

Adiwang after making his mixed martial arts return wanted to return home and train in the Philippines with his previous team now known as Tribal Torogi. But he got conflicted when he encountered Team Lakay’s head coach Mark Sangiao during an event in Malaysia. Coach Sangiao extended an invitation to Adiwang to join Team Lakay. Adiwang from his childhood had dreamt of being a part of Team Lakay. He then after having a talk with the team at Tribal Torogi decided to use this opportunity to grow as an athlete and to join Team Lakay.

The decision to join Team Lakay worked out in favor of Adiwang as he was able to make his ONE Championship debut in 2019 in the ONE Warrior Series. He won three fights on the trot in ONE Warrior Series which earned him a contract and a spot in the main roster of ONE Championship.

The Team Lakay star is now 3-1 on the global stage. Adiwang was supposed to face Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks at ONE on TNT II on 14 April but unfortunately, he tested positive for COVID-19 and hence was removed from the card. Despite the small setback, the future is bright for Lito Adiwang and it will only be a matter of time before he makes it big on the global stage. 

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