Lito “The Thunder Kid” Adiwang, 27, is not willing to challenge Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 24, for the ONE Strawweight World Championship title. The two Igorot mixed martial artists are training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines.
To avoid this clash, Adiwang is interested in moving to flyweight and fight Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 33, of the United States. The latter won the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship in 2019.
After graduating from Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series in 2019, Adiwang made an immediate impact in ONE Championship. He defeated his first two opponents in the promotion both in an impressive fashion.
“Yes, it’s been my dream to fight Demetrious Johnson since I started training in martial arts,” Adiwang revealed. “He’s been one of my idols in this sport. I want to test myself against the best in the world and DJ is it.”
“I know I’m new to the game, and just arrived in ONE Championship but if given the chance to fight DJ now, I’d take it,” Adiwang continued. “I’ll be ready with a great game plan.”
Johnson spent years competing in North America and became a 12-time UFC Flyweight Champion. He joined ONE Championship in late 2018, and made his debut with the promotion shortly after.
“DJ has great cage control,” Adiwang said. “He can dictate the pace of the game and loves to put on pressure. He knows exactly how he can maneuver his opponents to fall into his traps and he can transition quickly to take advantage of them. That’s what he’s really good at.”
“As far as weaknesses go, he doesn’t have many but one thing I think he has a hard time with is fighting backwards,” Adiwang said of Johnson. “I’ve analyzed some of the fights he lost and opponents were always on the attack. He has a tough time dealing with pressure, especially against hard-hitting opponents.”
Currently, Adiwang is fixated on facing the best ONE Championship strawweights and a move to flyweight is nowhere near on his radar. He is rumored to be facing former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito of Japan next.
“Nevertheless, the requirement to beat DJ is full focus for the entire bout, being constantly on the attack and unleashing sharp counters,” Adiwang said. “When you keep him on the back foot, it becomes harder for him to impose his will. That being said, beating DJ isn’t easy by any means.”
“It’s fun to think about these matchups and I really love fighting,” the Team Lakay fighter continued. “I just want to fight the best so bring them on.”
Adiwang would not be Johnson’s first Team Lakay opponent. On October 12, 2019, yhe latter defeated Team Lakay’s Danny “The King” Kingad, 24, via unanimous decision in the grand final of the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix at “ONE: Century 世紀” in Tokyo, Japan.