AUSTRALIAN FEATHERWEIGHT contender Rob “Ruthless” Lisita has promised a great, all-action fight against former Legend FC Featherweight champion Yusuke Kawanago, a battle “which the fans will truly enjoy,” on May 2 in ONE Fighting Championship’s Rise of Heroes at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
“Fans can expect ruthless aggression, a dog fight, a good scrap,” Lisita said as he seeks revenge against his former tormentor who won via a close decision when the two brawled in August 2012 under another MMA organization.
After that fight, which Lisita believed he won, the Australian has won three in a row, all by way of stoppage. In his last bout, he was the first fighter to ever beat Japanese mixed martial arts legend “Lion” Takeshi Inoue via stoppage.
He said MMA fans will enjoy it more this time. “Our first fight was good; we have both improved, we are gonna trade punches, and I always come to fight. It’s gonna be a great fight.”
Lisita sees his winning streak intact after May 2 as he predicts a victory over Kawanago. “I’m gonna put my fist on his chin and get my hand raised. I believe I have the power to knock him out; but it’s a fight anything can happen. I will do my best, and I think my best is better than his best.”
Since his fight with Kawanago, the Australian has done nearly all his training camps at Phuket Top Team, considered one of the best MMA training facilities in Asia today, which gave him access to quality sparring partners and coaching instructors.
“I have grown more in every aspect of mixed martial arts and have shown it in my fights. I am so motivated for this fight,” he said, adding: “I’m a different animal now. It’s my time.”
Lisita’s style is expected to please the fans as he carries his aggressiveness to the cage and will not hesitate to bring the fight to his opponent. That’s the reason he got the monicker “Ruthless.” In his own words, Lisita calls himself a “pitbull, someone who attacks and will fight to the death.”
He said the fans can expect a ruthless Lisita on May 2. “I don’t know any other way.”
If Lisita needed any more motivation for his bout against Kawanago, he received it at the press conference at the MOA last March 18. While on the podium for his turn to talk, the Japanese confidently stated that his opponent is not as good as him and that he will knock him out on May 2. That obviously got Lisita hot under the collar and the duo had an intense staredown after the press conference.
Speaking to reporters after the press conference, Lisita said: “I think those words (of Kawanago) are spoken out of fear. We trained together after our first fight. He knows who the better guy is and I’ll prove it when I knock him out.”
Both fighters have a habit of putting on exciting bouts and many pundits believe this bout has the potential to steal the show. Lisita agrees with the assessment, putting down a challenge to Kawanago “I’m going to be standing in the middle ready to stand and trade. Will you meet me there, or will you be scared and run?”
Both fighters are new acquisitions by ONE FC as the organization secures the top mixed martial arts fighters across the world. They will be looking to make an immediate impact in the ONE FC Featherweight division as a victory will propel them to the shortlist of contenders for the World Championship belt currently held by Japanese Koji Oishi.
For Rob, signing with ONE FC is a dream as he gets to chase a world championship. “Everything about ONE FC is world-class. The production, the people, the fans, it’s all a whole new world to me and I can’t wait to showcase just what I can do. After this fight in May everybody will be talking about Rob Lisita and calling for me to fight for the title.”