MANILA, Philippines -- Rolando "The Incredible" Dy is approaching a pivotal moment in his professional mixed martial arts career.
The Filipino fighter is determined to have a shot at the BRAVE CF lightweight world championship, after defeating top-level opposition in the 155-pound weight class last year.
His road to the championship continues on March 11, when he battles Kyrgyz powerhouse Abdysalam Kubanychiev. The classic striker-versus-grappler match-up will be the main event of BRAVE CF 47: Asian Domination in Bahrain.
The bout has been officially announced as a world title eliminator, and Dy is visualizing himself walking out with his hand raised in triumph.
"I know what’s at stake in this fight. It’s my dream, the dream of fighting for the title. That’s on the line here," he said.
"I am here to fight for it. I believe I deserve that title shot, and the best way to show everyone that I am real the title contender is by winning. That’s the only option," Dy stressed.
Dy is well aware that he has a tall task ahead of him: Abdysalam is riding high on a nine-bout winning streak and has not tasted a single defeat since December 2017.
The Kyrgyz mauler’s last three outings took place under the BRAVE CF banner, scoring a pair of destructive first-round stoppages over Joao Paulo Rodrigues and Vagif Askerov, and then submitting Jahongir Saidjamolov in the second round with a rear-naked choke this past January.
Dy, the son of boxing legend Rolando Navarrete, has nothing but respect for his opponent.
"Abdysalam, in my opinion, is the toughest fighter I will ever face in my career," he said. "He is a top-rated fighter in his country and in Russia. If you have that kind of rating as a fighter, it means you’re a monster."
"I consider this fight as a very important fight."
While Dy can never guarantee how any contest is going to play out, he is confident that his skills will be on par with Abdysalam when they collide less than two weeks from now.
"I see weakness in him, and I know how to beat him. My advantage is I am smarter. I am a thinking fighter. With his grappling background, he is more of a grinder in the cage. I am prepared for it, and I know I can handle it," he said.
Dy will be locked inside an unforgiving steel structure opposite a dangerous foe like Abdysalam, but he also recognizes what he has to do to get the job done.
"Unlike my last two fights, I have a full training camp this time around. I am 100% ready," he declared.
"I will try my best to be the more active fighter. If there’s a chance to finish the fight in the first round, I will take it. If I have to go the distance and dominate him every round, then so be it. I will give everything I have to win."