Lito Adiwang Discusses Journey Back From Knee Injury Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 16

It may have only taken Lito Adiwang 23 seconds to find the win against Adrian Mattheis in his comeback fight this past September, but the road back to health following a leg injury last March was anything but fast. 

After leaving his bout at ONE Friday Fight 34 unscathed, “Thunder Kid” will look to capitalize on his momentum when he returns to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium for a rematch with Jeremy Miado at ONE Fight Night 16: Haggerty vs. Andrade on Saturday, 4th November.

And his upcoming tie will carry some special significance with it, given he’ll be facing the same man he suffered his devastating ACL injury against. 

Adiwang’s knee gave out while he took a backstep midway through the second frame of his meeting with Miado at ONE X, leading to him being unable to continue. 

His Filipino compatriot was handed the win as a result, and “Thunder Kid” was forced to embark on an 18-month journey of rehabilitation that featured many challenges.

He was initially on track to return to action this past January, until he reinjured the knee while training. Though a setback, Adiwang learned to steel his mind and respect what his team told him about recovery. 

“We were super positive psychologically, but physically, it gave out. From there, I really had to surround myself with the proper advice and people, like the doctors and those with expert knowledge about this injury,” he said.

“I needed to balance out my positivity and eagerness since there really is a process that needs to happen. That’s what I went through for this recovery.”

The injury may be ever-present in his mind, but Adiwang’s focus is firmly on the future. 

The 30-year-old star kicked off a new chapter in the strawweight MMA division in emphatic fashion last month, and he plans to build upon it on 4th November.

“I can be honest here and say that nothing beats the original (knee). One thing I noticed is that my knee right now is, kind of, deformed,” Adiwang explained.

“The other would be my mobility feels a little bit off in the sense that before, I could stretch my knee with no problems, but now, there is a slight limitation to it.

“But the power and everything, I truly believe I’m back.”

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook

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