A pair of gloves, a pair of shorts and a mouth guard. They are common factors when two men enter a mixed martial arts contest. What sets two fighters apart is their desire—their desire to win and their desire to be considered the best fighter in the world.

Fighting professionally isn’t just considered a sport for some. For some people, like Rob Lisita, it’s life. It’s something that they pour their heart and soul into every day of the week. It’s what fuels them. It’s what makes them who they are. And finally getting to a point where people recognize all that hard work, well, that’s a feeling like no other.

Lisita (Scott Clark/Sherdog)

Lisita (Scott Clark/Sherdog)

“It feels like it’s the right time. I know I want to be the best. I train hard and I’m progressing to become the best featherweight in the world,” Lisita exclaimed to The MMA Corner. “People see winners, and if you win, fight for your family and give thanks to God, life is great. But I have a strong reason to do it—I need that bonus. I’m ready to fight to death for it. I’ve proved it time and again and will do my best to continue giving fight fans action-packed fights.

“The media has been great. I’ve been getting press in some cool countries. ONE FC have the best PR team I have dealt with. I’m happy doing anything for them—as long as they’re looking after me, I’ll look after them. To be honest, I’ve got to show my worth in May because, in my mind, they should just follow me around with a camera. I’ll show them how a real man eats, trains and relaxes and sells a fight. I think that time will come. First, I gotta show what I got.”

When Lisita became a free agent, offers came to him from all around the world. He had the opportunity to sign on with one of the major organizations in America, but chose to continue to exert his dominance in the Asian region. It was a simple choice for Lisita. His goals in life sit firmly in line with what he could very well achieve under the ONE FC banner.

“Firstly, it was the people working there,” Lisita admitted. “[ONE FC CEO] Victor Cui and especially Matt Hume gave some great words, and I felt a good connection with them. God told me it was the right decision. I’m an Asia-Pacific fighter, and ONE FC is the biggest Asian MMA promotion. I know it’s only the beginning. I know that one day I will be a world champion. The pay is good. I won’t say it pays great yet, because I gotta prove I’m great to get paid great.”

Now that Lisita has signed with ONE FC, he finds himself in the very real situation of being a full-time professional fighter. With no part-time job to focus on, Lisita has just one goal now.

“For me, it still means hard work, dedication to training and diet and promoting myself,” he explains. “But it also means no money in the bank, barely living day to day. I deserve the sponsors. I deserve the money—the help to make this job a job that can provide a better life for my wife and my children. I fight for my pride and I will die for that, but being able to give them the life I never had drives me to never stop.”

A big reason Lisita joined the ONE FC roster had to do with his desire to one day become a world champion. At this stage, he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself, but he still believes that the dream will come true.

“Asking right now, I don’t think my words will be considered by those who matter the most,” Lisita admitted. “In my mind, I have two battles and, God willing, I will win in both. I believe I have the tools in and out of the cage to be the greatest champion ONE FC will ever have, but most of all I love to fight. I pray these two will go hand in hand.”

In his ONE FC debut on May 2, Lisita meets Yusuke Kawanago in a rematch from their Legend FC bout that took place in August 2012. It’s the only loss in Lisita’s career over a two-year period. He feels the need to avenge that defeat.

Lisita (R) (Scott Clark/Sherdog)

Lisita (R) (Scott Clark/Sherdog)

“I’m looking forward to punching him in the face. That’s what I’m looking forward to,” Lisita exclaimed. “I’m looking forward to having 15 minutes locked in a cage where he can’t crawl out to the ropes and get unjust stand-ups. He can run, but he can’t hide. I am most excited that we get to fight again. He is a good fighter that got the decision win before, which proves he has some skill. There will be no stops. We will be in the cage, and it will be, at the very most, 15 minutes of fighting. I’m excited to show an even better version of myself.

“This fight will prove how great a fighter I can be. I know it’s a fight and anything can happen, but right now I feel unstoppable—that I will beat him anywhere I want. This fight is a whole new fight. It’s a new organization, it’s in a cage and they are all new rules for me. I’m higher ranked than him. He wants my spot. I want the fight, and beating him is all the satisfaction I need.”

On May 2, it all comes down to what happens when that cage door closes. Everything that has happened in the past and everything that has been said will be forgotten. When that first punch or kick lands, that’s when it will become about which fighter is the better man. Lisita has an immense amount of passion on his side. When he steps into the ONE FC cage and his feet make contact with the canvas, he’ll prove what sets him apart from his competition. He is “Ruthless.” He is willing to fight a brutal fight. And that’s exactly what is going to ensure that he walks out of that cage with his hand raised, one step closer to fulfilling the dream of becoming a world champion.

Rob would like to thank Phuket Top Team (Boyd Clarke), Haleo Top Team (David Halton), MuscleBar (Charlie and Sandor), VC – Vicious Circle (Lee and Dean), Celebrity Ink (Johnny) and Phuket Pro Nutrition (Jonnie). Follow Lisita on Twitter: @robertlisita