Roy Doliguez (6-3) sees his upcoming three-round encounter with Alex Silva (4-1) as an opportunity to bring back the glimmer of his professional mixed martial arts career.
Both highly-decorated combatants are set to collide on the undercard of ONE Championship: Throne of Tigers, which takes place at the 10,000-seater Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 10 February.
Doliguez was once considered one of the brightest strawweight MMA competitors in the Asian region, but his billing lost its luster due to a string of setbacks.
When Doliguez had made his ONE Championship debut against Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke for the inaugural ONE Strawweight World Championship belt in May 2015, he yielded to the highly-touted Thai combatant via fifth-round technical decision.
Doliguez tried to bounce back from his loss to Sor Amnuaysirichoke by squaring off with Riku Shibuya in January 2016, but he dropped a three-round unanimous decision to the Japanese stalwart.
Coming off a year-long hiatus, Doliguez is eager to put himself back on the winning track as he set to have his ONE Championship cage return on 10 February.
“I haven’t won a bout in ONE Championship. This is my chance to get that win. If I want to fight for the title again, I have to win first. I am determined to win this fight,” he said.
Prior to his two-fight losing slide, Doliguez had been riding high on a four-bout winning streak, beating the who’s who of the local MMA scene in the Philippines.
Doliguez seeks to reinsert his name into winner’s column, but the man standing in his way is Silva.
Known by the moniker “Little Rock”, Silva holds a 4-1 win-loss slate and has won three-straight submission matches in ONE Championship.
The 34-year-old native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist with a terrifying ground game and a knack for securing highlight-reel submission finishes.
Doliguez admitted that he is fully aware of his opponent’s elite submission arsenal, but he stressed that he is not intimidated.
“I know he has a good submission game, but I am not afraid of it. I don’t mind exchanging positions with him on the ground. I also have grappling aside from my striking. I don’t worry that much against him,” he declared.
However, Doliguez clarified that he is not belittling Silva’s grappling pedigree, asserting that he has to be careful in entering his Brazilian foe’s submission wheelhouse.
“But still, I have to be careful. He is a fighter with a world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background. That’s why I am working on my takedown defense for this fight,” he disclosed.
A former professional boxer who has nearly 50 fights under his belt, Doliguez issued a stern warning to Silva if he plans to exchange strikes with him.
“Grappling might be his bread-and-butter, but striking is my arena. If he wants to strike with me, I have no problem with that. For sure, he will feel my power,” Doliguez asserted.
Although there is a tough task in front of him, Doliguez stressed that his eagerness to win keeps himself confident that he will have his hand raised.
“He is only a fighter, and everyone is beatable. I always put that in my mind. That’s why I’m confident and focused. I know on February 10 that I will prevail over Alex Silva.”