ONE: Adiwang eyes title but prefers not to face teammate Pacio
MANILA, Philippines — With both ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio and the fast-rising Lito Adiwang racking up one victory after another, it seems inevitable at this point that the two Team Lakay warriors would eventually cross paths.
Adiwang is fully aware of it, but if he has it his way, he prefers a different scenario where a fight with Pacio won’t be necessary.
“My personal goal is to be known as one of the best fighters in the division. Of course, I want to eventually compete for a world title. It’s every athlete’s dream to become a world champion,” said Adiwang.
“While it will ultimately depend on ONE Championship, I still prefer not to face Joshua Pacio as much as possible. I want to avoid that.”
For Adiwang, taking on the other big names in the division first makes much more sense as he continues to work his way to the top.
“Instead, I want the top guys in the division. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, Yoshitaka Naito, Alex Silva, Yosuke Saruta. These are all great matchups for me and challenges I’m willing to face. I just want to face the best and prove myself.”
The 26-year-old Adiwang is undefeated in his last seven fights, which include two stoppage wins over Senzo Ikeda and Pongsiri Mitsatit in his first two bouts as part of ONE Championship’s main roster.
Determined to prove his worth, he certainly has no plans of slowing down.
“My plan is to keep taking on anyone they put in front of me and beat them. I’ll take any fight, no matter how short the notice. I’m always ready, always training, and always ready for action,” he said.
Adiwang also hopes ONE will create a tournament pitting the best strawweights against each other just like in the flyweight and lightweight divisions.
“I want to fight as many times as I can this year. A tournament would accomplish that goal,” he said.
“I know right now, it’s tough with everything that’s going on. Everyone is fighting their own battles. We will get through this. As athletes though, we have to remain focused on our goals. We’re always training, even at home.”
The strawweights, though, aren’t the only ones whom Adiwang is putting on notice.
“If Joshua still has the belt in the next couple of years, I have no issues moving up to flyweight to take on challenges there. There’s a lot of great talent in that division that I wouldn’t mind testing myself against. But we’ll cross the bridge when we get there.”
And speaking of flyweights, Adiwang already has a fantasy fight in mind.
“Demetrious Johnson is the best in the world right now, in my opinion. And I’ve dreamed of facing him since I started my career. Before, that was just an impossible dream. But now that he’s with ONE Championship, it’s closer to reality.”
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