MANILA, Philippines – Filipino mixed martial artist Rolando Dy found himself in a do-or-die situation when the Ultimate Fighting Championship sent him an email last month, telling him that he was going to be cut from the roster.
However, the 26-year-old was given a second – or third – chance when he heard back from UFC, asking him to fight with a two-week notice, in the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Gastelum. Dy grabbed the opportunity as it was his dream to fight in the premier MMA league “since day one”.
“I call this a suicide mission,” said Dy, “I really need to win this fight because they’ve already cut me before [this].”
This Saturday, November 25, Dy will face China’s Wuliji Buren in Shanghai, where the crowd will undeniably root against him. To keep his dreams alive, Dy will have to overcome the odds by walking into his opponent’s home soil, having only a few days of preparation – instead of the usual six months – and pull-off a victory.
Asked if he’s bothered that he will be fighting with limited training time, Dy answered, “That’s life. I can’t blame anybody for my failures.”
“As a professional, they gave me two weeks for this fight, [so] I will condition myself and I will do my best to train hard in two weeks. Then after that I will perform and that’s it. I won’t have bitter feelings.”
Parrallels to the Patriarch
Dy is the son of Filipino boxing icon Rolando “the Bad Boy of Dadiangas” Navarrete. And although, Dy only met his father once, he inherited the former champion’s love for fighting along with his first name.
“I’m proud that my father was a champion but it was not my goal to follow his footsteps,” Dy revealed. “It just so happened that I love combat sports too,” the UFC featherweight added.
The Filipino striker lost his first two fights inside the ‘Octagon’. He fell to veteran Alex Caceres via TKO in his debut last June; then he got bested by Japanese Teruto Ishihara three months later. With a 0-2 start in the UFC, Dy knows that he badly needs to rack up some victories to prevent getting sacked.
“This win is very important because this is my ticket to remain in the UFC. Plus, they will pay me more in my next fight if I win,” Dy stated. “I will also have a win bonus if I’m victorious. This fight is for my family; for my future wife, my fiancée,” he stressed.
Fighting Your Heart Out
Dy is aware that the advantage belongs to Wuliji because of his limited training camp. “To be honest, because I only had two weeks of preparation, I only focused on my conditioning,” Dy admitted, “I don’t have time to add a weapon in my arsenal.”
Dy believes, however, that his two-week training will be enough to snatch a win over his Chinese foe. “Experience and heart” is his advantage according to the man known as 'Dy Incredible'. “This will not be easy for me but this will not be easy for him too,” Dy stated. “The first one to break will lose and my will does not shatter,” he continued.
For Dy his mental toughness is going to lead him to a triumphant return. “[You’ll] need to kill me before you win. [You’ll] need to break me to the point that I can no longer move before you win. And I don’t break easily,” is Dy’s message to his opponent. – Rappler.com