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Published: Saturday April 26, 2014 MYT 8:19:00 PM
Updated: Saturday April 26, 2014 MYT 10:50:37 PM

Lisita’s a tough nut with a soft centre

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Rob 'Ruthless' Lisita is very much a family man as seen here with his wife Carla and daughters Elizabeth and Mia in Phuket where he is based. - SS Kanesan/ The Star

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Rob 'Ruthless' Lisita is very much a family man as seen here with his wife Carla and daughters Elizabeth and Mia in Phuket where he is based. - SS Kanesan/ The Star

PHUKET: Australian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Rob “Ruthless” Lisita has waited for almost two years for revenge.

Now, the time has come.

On Friday, the 30-year-old Australian will get his shot at avenging his loss to Japanese veteran Yusuke Kawanago when they climb into the cage in the ONE FC: Rise of Heroes event at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.

In 2012, Yusuke defeated Lisita through a unanimous decision in a fight in Hong Kong.

Since that loss, the hard-hitting former Australian junior rugby league player has upped his game and reeled off three consecutive wins – and his record stands at 13-5.

No wonder Lisita, when met at his training camp in Phuket recently, was thrilled to be given the chance to avenge that defeat.

He has since revamped his fighting style and strategy and believes that he is more than ready to take on his Japanese nemesis.

Spotted wearing the Japanese national football team jersey, Lisita said: “You must be wondering why I’m wearing this jersey. This jersey helps me stay focused on my mission ... to beat Yusuke.

“I just can’t wait for the fight to start. I’ve been waiting for it for two long years.

“I’m not going to be merciful once we’re in the cage. This time, I’ll make sure that I’m the last man standing.

“I deserved to win two years ago ... so, it’s time for revenge.”

For someone involved in such a brutal sport, Lisita does have a soft side.

Outside the cage, his family comes first for Lisita. He is the dotting father to daughters Elizabeth and Mia. His wife Carla is pregnant with their third child.

Despite his nickname “Ruthless”, Lisita is actually very friendly and loves meeting people and sharing his experiences as an MMA fighter.

Other than taking care of business against Yusuke, Lisita also has another mission: to win over the many ONE FC fans in the Philippines – especially Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.

Lisita said: “I want to put on a show that will impress my Filipino fans and have the crowd cheer for me like one of their own.

“I’m a big fan of Manny Pacquiao. He is a real inspiration to me. I hope that one day I can make him a big fan of me too,” added Lisita with a smile.

Tags / Keywords: Rob Lisita, Mixed Martial Arts, Mall of Asia, ONE Fighting Championship, ONE FC, Phuket Top Team Gym

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