Health And Family

The future is bright for this cebuano MMA fighter

REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay - The Philippine Star
The future is bright for this cebuano MMA fighter
Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang is one of the most explosive athletes on the ONE Championship roster

Sports heroes are important. They give inspiration to the next generation of stars and the cycle continues.

Filipino MMA youngster Lito Adiwang is one of the most explosive athletes on the ONE Championship roster today as he has captivated audiences every time he fights.

The 26-year-old from the famed Team Lakay is blazing a trail in the strawweight division, but he wasn’t always a martial arts hero. Growing up in Baguio City, Adiwang had a rough upbringing.

“I was born the youngest in a family of seven children. Life was tough and we had to get through a lot of trials. My parents used to plant crops in an open lot so we would have food to eat, but it wasn’t enough,” Adiwang recounted.

“It really taught me a lot about overcoming adversity in life. I wanted to help my family, but I felt powerless. Then I lost my fourth sibling in a mining accident. My parents separated when I was a teenager. I just felt hopeless.”

Then he found hope in a Philippine sporting icon Manny Pacquiao.

The “Thunder Kid” drew strength and inspiration from Pacquiao’s incredible career and his dream was to be just like his idol.

“Growing up watching the rise of Pacquiao, I was motivated to become a boxer just like him. I wanted to represent my country and make my people proud, too. I wanted to help bring my family out of hardship and poverty,” said Adiwang.

“There used to be an old church on the streets where I grew up, where I initially started to learn how to box. I was 12 years old at the time. I would shadowbox and imagine I was Manny, fighting against legends like Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. I loved his relentless style. His opponents couldn’t handle him.” Today, there are similarities in Adiwang’s dynamite-laden strikes and Pacquiao’s ferociousness. Just like Pacquiao, Adiwang features a relentless attack. He throws punches with no caution, and everything he comes forward with is packed with bout-ending power.

He just earned a six-figure contract with ONE Championship and then strung together two incredible finishes as part of their main roster.

“To be even considered in the same breath as Manny, it’s such an honor. If I can accomplish even a fraction of what he has in his career, I can consider my career a success,” said Adiwang.

The future is very bright for this rising star.

* * *

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @anthonysuntay.


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with