Team Lakay strawweight contender Lito Adiwang admitted feeling a decline in his overall health after recovering from COVID-19 last April.

Lito Adiwang (ONE Championship)

Team Lakay’s camp was marred by cases of coronavirus when the Igorot warriors were preparing for their American television debut on ONE on TNT five months ago.

Both Adiwang and former BRAVE CF bantamweight champion Stephen Loman were slated for their respective bouts but caught the virus which prompted the promotion for last-minute replacements.

Only veteran fighter Eduard Folayang was able to compete, eventually yielding to rival Shinya Aoki in their trilogy.

“Meron ‘yan (negative effect) and ‘yon nga lang, aminin natin meron ‘yan. Nasabi sa atin especially noong nagre-recover pa lang tayo,” said Adiwang. “Ramdam na ramdam ko rin. Parang back to zero — hindi lang back to zero, back to negative ‘yong feeling ko. ‘Yong cardio, ‘yong lakas ko bumagsak talaga.

“We needed to come up with a plan na kailangan mabawi namin ‘yong nawalang lakas sa amin dahil sa sakit na iyon,” added the Team Lakay stalwart, who holds a 12-3 record.

Both Adiwang and Loman were the first Team Lakay members to contract COVID-19 but ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio later admitted that he also tested positive for coronavirus.

If there’s one thing that they had to instill, that would be their undying Igorot warrior’s spirit and a positive mindset.

“One thing is mindset. Kailangan namin i-block ‘yon para ‘di makaapekto sa amin. Ngayon wala, ‘di namin iniisip na nabawasan ‘yong lakas, iniisip namin is naka-recover kami at mas malakas pa kesa last time,” added Adiwang, who will be facing Hexigetu on Sept. 24 in ONE: Revolution.

Pacio, meanwhile, is set to defend his strawweight belt for the third straight time in a trilogy against Japanese rival Yosuke Saruta.

Source: Manila Bulletin (