ONE Championship fighter Lito Adiwang has confirmed he will be absent from the promotion’s upcoming ‘Fight Night 6’ card on January 14, 2023.
‘Thunderkid‘ was set to fight at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, early next year, however his return to the octagon has been delayed due to a recurring knee injury causing him issues in training.
Adiwang revealed that the pain in his knees had been increasing with three weeks to go from his bout against Masnur Malachiev, a problem originally caused following a torn ACL back in March.
The Filipino flyweight is obviously saddened by the news that his ONE return has been hindered. He has wanted to get back into fighting regularly to commemorate his late father.
Adiwang said: “It’s heartbreaking that I have to break a promise to my father to fight this January. Also [sorry] to our fans and supporters who are eager and excited to watch me back in action.
“My mind is 1000 percent ready to go to war but suddenly, my knee is not cooperating and it’s getting worse when I try to push it hard for training.
“As per the advice of my doctor, I’ll give it some time to recover and continue my therapy to strengthen it.”
Adiwang’s ACL injury came in his last professional bout against fellow countryman Jeremy Miado at ‘ONE X’, which was subsequently followed by surgery earlier in May this year.
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Throughout rehabilitation programs set to re-strengthen the knee, it seemed as though the 29-year-old was facing very few problems. Once full contact training restarted, however, the issue began to resurface, and after making contact with his physician, ‘Thunderkid‘ was forced to withdraw from the fight.
Adiwang does see the brighter side of the scenario too, and remains well-aware that this decision will certainly benefit him in the long run, rather than making a premature return to the octagon.
He continued: “It’s heartbreaking to withdraw but I need to think for the best and look at the big picture.
“I may not fulfil my promise this time, but this made me focus to the bigger promise that I gave to both of my parents that one day I will become a World Champion.
“To ONE Championship, my opponent, fans, and supporters, I’m sorry that I will not be able to compete this January in Bangkok but I will do my best to heal and recover as fast as I can and continue this fight.
“I’ll enter the Circle healthy and prepared to give the best show that I can give.”