Rolando Dy
Rolando Dy speaks during an interview following his triumph over Kazakh’s Yerzhan Yestanov in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Palm Sports

Abu Dhabi: The Filipino community turned out in full strength at the Mubadala Arena on Friday evening to watch their home-bred favourite Rolando Dy in full flow in the UAE Warriors Mixed Martial Arts featherweight title fight.

Dy didn’t disappoint as he won against Kazakh Yerzhan Yestanov on unanimous points decision after flooring the latter twice and leaving him with nose bleeds.

The 27-year-old burst into tears soon after the bout and immediately dedicated the success to his ailing grandfather.

“My grandfather who is dear to me is on his deathbed after suffering from liver cancer. Before I left home, I told my Lolo (grandfather) that I’m going to return with the title belt and to wait for me. I wish he would. I want to be by his side before he breathes his last,” said Dy, who had won a fight here in Abu Dhabi in January early this year at the Abu Dhabi Warriors fight card.

“I thank the Filipino community here for being behind me tonight. I was here to prove that we from the Philippines can do it on the big stage and anywhere in the world,” said Dy, who took his career record to 10-7 with this win.

In the featured light heavyweight fight of the evening, Tarek Suleiman of Syria stunned favourite Briton’s Oli Thompson. The contest was all over in the second round after Suleiman knocked down Thompson by trading a series of punches.

“This as an important result for me and my country. I had only one goal tonight and that was to win. The Syrian people are smart and they have a big heart, and we welcome the whole world to embrace us,” said a jubilant Suleiman.

There was disappointment for home fans as UAE’s Ahmad Al Darmaki, failed to match the guile of Egyptian Azouz Anwar and lost out in the first round after being choked to submission in a featherweight bout.

The welterweight title saw Tunisia’s Amin Ayoub force Ahmed Labban of Lebanon into submission, just four minutes into the first round.

Cameroon’s Joures Dea needed just 35 seconds to overpower Russian Mogamed Abdurakhimov in the featherweight while Brazilians Bruno Machado and Juscelino Ferreira registered easy wins over Russian Yurii Gryschenko and Egyptian Ebrahim El Sawi in the lightweight and light heavyweight, respectively. Moroccan Hamza Bougamza got the better of Will Aranguiz of Chile in the bantam while Australian Trent Girdham beat Brazilian Fabio Mello in the bantam weight.

India’s Suraj Bahadur, meanwhile, proved no match for American Dwight Brooks in the lightweight.