Rolando Gabriel Dy (13-9) may be the underdog in the three-round lightweight title eliminator against New Zealand’s own John Brewin (6-1), but the Filipino fighter believes that he is more than capable of flipping the script.
Both men are scheduled to duke it out against each other on the undercard of Brave 44, which takes place at the iconic Bahrain National Stadium on Thursday, November 5.
Brewin was supposed to face Sam Patterson at the aforementioned event, but the latter withdrew from the bout due to an injury. Dy accepted the offer to fill in for the British standout on two week’s notice.
With stringent travel protocols still in place due to the ongoing global health crisis and the short amount of time to prepare, Dy had a valid reason to turn it down. But he admitted that it was difficult to pass up an opportunity to secure a date with the winner of the championship clash between Cleiton Silva and Amin Ayoub.
“The goal when I moved up to lightweight was to win another title in a different weight class,” he said in his native tongue on The Hit List presented by SMART Sports. “I don’t feel any pressure heading into this fight. It’s a two-week notice fight, and I just entered the division.
“Right away, I get a title eliminator.”
Years after competing as a featherweight, Dy decided to move up one division higher last September. He confessed that the rigorous weight-cut to meet the 145-pound limit was starting to take a toll on his body.
The 29-year-old Cavite resident made a triumphant lightweight debut, eking out a split decision victory over Polish hard-hitter Maciek Gierszewski at Brave 42.
On paper, he seems to be taking a great risk. However, “The Incredible” suggests that he has nothing else to lose.
“I’m just a replacement fighter. His original opponent in this title eliminator got injured, so I don’t think the pressure is on me. The way I see it, the pressure is on him. I have nothing to lose,” Dy stated.
Dy acknowledges that he has his hands full in his upcoming fight. Still, he believes that his experience will spell the difference versus the promotion’s 2019 Breakout Fighter of the Year.
“Obviously, I have the advantage in experience. I already fought at the highest level. I know what it is like to hold a title,” he assessed.
“This guy never won a belt yet, and he has never fought a guy like me.”
The former UAE Warriors featherweight titleholder is fully aware of Brewin’s knack for subduing his opponents on the ground, but he sternly warned the Kiwi from underestimating his grappling chops.
“I don’t think he can just take me down and grapple me like what he did in his last fight. I’m pretty sure they are underestimating me,” said Dy, who holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Stephen Kamphuis’ KMA-Fabricio.
Dy assures that he can handle things when the match hits the mat, though. And he is curious to see how Brewin will fare in the stand-up with him.
“He’s a complete fighter and very tall. Though he has decent striking and good cardio, he is much of a grinder. I do have the edge in experience, and he has never fought a puncher before. My style is more of a puncher,” he stressed.
Since acquiring the services of boxing trainer Norman Arenas, Dy has added more emphasis on his punching power, which he attributes to being the son of boxing legend Rolando Navarrete.
With Arenas in his corner, the partnership is most memorable for the highlight-reel knockout of Mehmosh Raza at Brave 22 in March 2019. There, Dy sent the Pakistani’s mouthguard flying with a left hook-right straight combination in the first round.
Dy intends to utilize every weapon in his arsenal come fight night. And if Brewin chooses to trade strikes with him, the Filipino will make his opponent pay.
“Yes, he’s a complete fighter. But I am also a complete fighter. I really don’t mind where he brings the fight. I know I can adjust anywhere the fight goes. But if he wants to strike, my Plan A is always to strike.”