Lito Adiwang has an opportunity to climb further up the rankings if he can put together a good showing in his next bout. However, the No.5-ranked strawweight contender is certainly up against some stiff competition.
Adiwang is set to take on American veteran Jarred ‘The Monkey God’ Brooks in the main event of ONE: NextGen III, a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The card will be broadcast via tape delay on Friday, November 26. It’s the first time Lito Adiwang is headlining a card and a lot is on the line.
Brooks comes from a stint in the UFC, which saw him take on top talents such as Deiveson Figueiredo. He’s a tough proposition for the 13-3 Lito Adiwang, who faces a dangerous foe with solid experience under his belt.
‘Thunder Kid’ has finished 11 of his 13 opponents, including seven knockouts and four submissions. He’s one of the most explosive fighters in ONE Championship and is arguably the most powerful strawweight fighter in the promotion.
However, the challenge Brooks poses is real. If Lito Adiwang doesn’t find a way to deal with the slick American stylist, it could be a rough night for the Team Lakay ace.
Lito Adiwang certainly has the tools necessary for victory. The question is, can he put it all together and take care of business against the well-rounded Brooks?
Strike first, strike hard
The key to victory for Lito Adiwang has always been his explosive striking. His blazing fast hands are laced with dynamite power and he isn’t afraid to let his hands go.
Since joining ONE Championship via the ONE Warrior Series in 2018, Lito Adiwang has scored four emphatic knockouts. He’ll look to do the same against Brooks.
To do that, however, Lito Adiwang needs to strike first, strike hard and avoid fighting at Brooks’ pace.
Brooks will likely try to nullify the Team Lakay stalwart’s power early by shooting for takedowns and attempting to close the gap. It’s imperative that Lito Adiwang utilizes his accurate striking, particularly his ripping uppercuts, to catch ‘The Monkey God’ as he comes in.
‘The Thunder Kid’ may have learned his lesson in a loss to Japanese grappler Hiroba Minowa last October. Lito Adiwang nearly had his opponent finished in that fight, until Minowa turned the corner and goaded him into a ground battle. This is something Adiwang simply cannot afford to do against Brooks.
The key for Lito Adiwang is to pull the trigger at every opportunity. The slightest bit of hesitation on his part will provide enough of an opening for Brooks to capitalize on the chance and bring the fight to the mat.
Lito Adiwang needs to avoid grappling exchanges at all costs
Lito Adiwang’s hands are the most lethal in the business. When he has an opponent hurt, it takes mere seconds for him to close the show.
However, Brooks has proven in the past that he can shut down aggressive foes and render them ineffective. ‘The Monkey God’ is a fantastic wrestler who knows how to utilize leverage and positioning to bring the action into his grappling wheelhouse. There’s no reason to think he isn’t capable of doing the same against Lito Adiwang.
If Adiwang wants to be successful, he will have to find a way to stuff Brooks’ shots at every opportunity.
Team Lakay athletes, historically, have had difficulty dealing with grappling specialists. With that in mind, takedown defense will certainly play a key factor in this fight.
Fortunately for Lito Adiwang, the best takedown defense on the team belongs to reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua ‘The Passion’ Pacio and No. 2-ranked flyweight Danny ‘The King’ Kingad. Both men are primary sparring partners for the ‘Thunder Kid’.
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A lot is certainly at stake in this intense strawweight showdown. A victory for Lito Adiwang could book him a rematch with the No.3-ranked Minowa, who has avoided him since the close and controversial end to their matchup a year ago. However, Brooks will be looking to take Adiwang’s spot in the rankings for himself.
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