ONE: Adiwang still dreams of facing idol Demetrious Johnson
MANILA, Philippines—Lito Adiwang has said repeatedly that fighting stablemate Joshua Pacio for the ONE strawweight title is always out of the picture as both value their brotherhood above a golden strap.
Pacio is on his second reign atop the division and has held the title since April 2019 while Adiwang is a hot commodity in the promotion’s 125-pound weight class.
While Adiwang doesn’t see himself challenging Pacio for the title, a move up to flyweight could be a plausible move.
That will put him in the same division as Team Lakay teammate Danny Kingad but Adiwang wants to take a crack at the sport’s arguable greatest of all time in Demetrious Johnson.
“He’s my idol but I know I can handle myself against him,” said Adiwang in Filipino.
Adiwang was in Kingad’s corner when the no.2 ranked flyweight fought Johnson in October 2019, putting the Thunder Kid in a valuable position to observe the former UFC champion.
The Team Lakay prospect also took a close watch when Adriano Moraes pulled off the biggest upset of his career when he knocked out Johnson this past April to defend his flyweight belt.
“If we’re looking at it closely, I’d like to copy Adriano’s approach against DJ if ever I get to face DJ that is,” said Adiwang. “You can see in that fight that Adriano had to change his approach.”
“First is he maintained distance because DJ is smaller than him and he kept adding distance between them.”
The 5-foot-8 Moraes is five inches taller than Johnson and the Brazilian used that to his advantage before knocking out Mighty Mouse 2:24 into the second round with a brutal knee on the ground, a move allowed in ONE Championship.
“My dream was to fight DJ even when he was still in another organization. I learned a lot when he fought Danny and if I ever get the chance then I already saw some points and keys to victory,” said Adiwang.