If there is a perfect way to describe Rob “Warrior of God” Lisita as a mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor, he is the true epitome of a gallant warrior inside the cage.
The 34-year-old native of Campbelltown, Australia is known as a relentless offensive force, armed with powerful striking combinations with the intent of scoring highlight-reel finishes.
Lisita is 14-9 as a professional mixed martial artist and has proven to be a fixture in big fights owing to his fan-friendly style.
His reputation as an MMA athlete with a never-say-die attitude gained the attention of ONE Championship, which is widely regarded as the frontrunner of the sport in the Asian region.
Lisita quickly made an impact in ONE Championship by easily taking out Japanese rival Yusuke Kawanago with a 28-second knockout in May 2014.
Despite being remembered as a veteran fighter who has faced the best in and around his division, the luster of his billing slowly faded when a string of setbacks came his way.
Lisita suffered a second-round submission defeat at the hands of Filipino combatant Eric “The Natural” Kelly in July 2014.
He encountered the same fate in October 2014 when Lisita tasted a first-round submission loss to future ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov by way of rear-naked choke.
It was followed by a six-second knockout setback to Russian lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin in May 2016.
A victory under the ONE Championship umbrella remained elusive for Lisita as he fell short to Malaysian-Kiwi sensation Ev “E.T.” Ting via unanimous decision in a thrilling September 2016 lightweight encounter.
Determined to break his four-fight losing skid in Asia's largest MMA organization, Lisita chose not to wallow over his setbacks inside the ONE Championship cage as he looks to redeem himself at the expense of former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario.
Both men are set to face each other in a three-round lightweight clash on the undercard of ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY, which takes place at the 20,000-capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on 21 April.
“I am coming to the Philippines to win. I need this win. I can’t lose forever. It feels like I’ve been losing forever already. But this is my chance to prove that there is a light at the end of tunnel. No one stays on the losing side,” Lisita said.
With the ambition to insert his name into the winner's column and regain his status as one of the most exciting fighters in the world, Lisita stressed that his bout against Banario is the perfect match-up to sparkplug his nine-year prizefighting career.
Banario is currently riding high on a three-match winning streak, picking up stellar triumphs over the likes of Vaughn Donayre, Eddie Ng and Rajinder Singh Meena.
“Honorio Banario is a true warrior who never backs down in a fight. This is another war for me. If I want to regain the attention and respect of the whole world, this is the right fight for me. A win over Honorio Banario will put me in the headlines again,” Lisita stated.
Even though winning has shied away from him in his last four fights in ONE Championship, Lisita explained that his love for MMA keeps on luring him back.
“I am continuing my career as an MMA fighter because I love this sport. It keeps me alive. Moreover, this is what I live for. Setbacks don’t matter because I love what I do. That’s why I do it,” he shared.
As he locks horns with the hot-streaking Banario, Lisita remains optimistic that he will have his raised for the first time in three years at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY.
“Buy or reserve a ticket right now because you will witness the resurgence of Rob Lisita. I am coming to Manila wiser and more resolute than ever. See you on April 21st,” he ended.
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