MMA: Rolando Dy hopes changes in training will lead to success at BRAVE CF 56

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 15 2021 12:08 PM | Updated as of Dec 15 2021 12:15 PM

Filipino fighter Rolando
Filipino fighter Rolando "The Incredible" Dy. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Determined to take another step forward in his MMA career, Filipino fighter Rolando "The Incredible" Dy has made significant changes in his training program.

These changes come as the 30-year-old Dy prepares to take on local favorite Slobodan Maksimovic in the main event of BRAVE CF 56, set for Saturday at the Belexpocentar in Belgrade, Serbia.

Dy has always possessed a warrior spirit, but nine months ago, he received the wake-up call he needed to take his career to the next level, and fulfill his vast potential.

In BRAVE CF's "Asian Domination" card last March, Dy headlined the event against rising Kyrgyz contender Abdisalam "Omok" Kubanychbek. However, the match did not go his way.

Kubanychbek imposed his strategy perfectly as "Omok" used all of his might to get Dy down on the canvas and clobbered with afflicting ground-and-pound that forced the corner of the Pinoy combatant to throw in the towel before the start of the third and final round.

Dy said the loss was a valuable learning experience.

"I think I could have done better, but looking back, I think it's what I needed. It was a tough loss, but at the same time, it's an eye-opener. I picked up a good number of lessons from that experience alone," he said of the defeat.

The loss made Dy realize that he needed to make drastic changes to his training program, and his first order of business was to hire a strength and conditioning coach, Marlon Emanel.

While some prizefighters might prefer a routine in camp, having other personnel in the gym aside from striking coach Norman Arenas seems to have reignited the fire inside Dy. 

He's now looking forward to putting his training into practice against an extremely-tough opponent in Maksimovic.

"It does feel really good to get out of your comfort zone. At first, it was difficult. But that's part of the adaptation phase of the program. I do feel much stronger and much faster heading into this fight. You will see it in my next fight," Dy guaranteed.

"Truth be told, I'm not getting any younger. In this physically-taxing sport, a fighter needs to preserve his or her body. By hiring a strength and conditioning trainer, I know my coach will help me extend my shelf life as a fighter," he also said.

Dy's opponent this weekend is determined to make a big first impression on the sport's global stage after spending over 11 years in the regional circuit, amassing a professional record of 17-6-1.

Maksimovic rides on a two-bout winning streak while winning seven out of his last eight assignments since 2016.

Dy knows that the pressure is on him, as BRAVE CF's year-end card is set in Maksimovic's hometown, where the local crowd will undoubtedly cheer for their hero. 

With a focus on nullifying the crowd and keeping the result out of the judges' hands, Dy plans to put forth the performance of a lifetime.

"Come fight night, I have to perform to the best of my ability. He will have the so-called hometown advantage. I feel the pressure, of course. But it only motivates me to get the win in decisive fashion," said Dy.

For Dy, he views his three-round cage encounter opposite Maksimovic as a springboard to bigger and better opportunities.

"Beating Slobodan Maksimovic will definitely put me in a better place in the division. It's no secret that I want to fight for the title. Getting that win on December 18 will kick-start my run to the top," he shared.