Filipino MMA fighters Rolando Dy is willing to take on Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas in the main event of UFC Fight Night Manila.
According to MMAJunkie.com, Penn will be unable to compete at UFC Manila after suffering an injury in training. While there are a number of viable options as a replacement for Penn, one Filipino is speaking up to get a chance of a lifetime.
When we asked Dy if he’s willing to step in against Lamas on short notice, he replied with an emphatic “Yes!” He later posted on social media his intentions to replace the legend Penn in the UFC’s second Manila event.
“After BJ Pen was pulled out because of injury a lot of people including the media are asking me if ever UFC will call me for replacement, am I willing to fight Ricardo,” he said in a Facebook post. “Big yes! I will bully the bully in my own back yard. Sign me up!”
Dy also pointed out on social media that should he get a spot at UFC Manila, it would be ironic, given that his father won his WBO title as a late replacement as well.
“My father is Rolando Navarrete, a Filipino boxing legend,” Dy posted. “When he fought Boza Eswards for the WBC world Championship he was just a replacement, but he KO Edwards and became a world champion. Looks like the history will repeat itself, in a different sport. It will be written in the history books if UFC will sign me up.”
Lamas is the No. 4-ranked featherweight in the UFC and a former title challenger. Dy, meanwhile, has been fighting as a pro since 2011, predominantly under Guam-based promotion PXC, where he’s twice challenged for the bantamweight title.
The UFC is no stranger to booking a fighter for a main event bout on short notice, even if it’s his promotional debut. We saw this with then-UFC debutant Joe Soto, who took on TJ Dillashaw for the bantamweight title at UFC 177. He was a late replacement for Renan Barao, who pulled out of his fight with Dillashaw before weigh-ins due to weight-cutting complications.
However, the difference between that scenario and the prospect of Dy stepping in for Penn is that Soto was already scheduled for the prelims of UFC 177; he was already under UFC contract.
Additionally, stringent pre-fight drug testing by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) seems to be Dy’s biggest hurdle when it comes to jumping on board the UFC Manila card. USADA’s protocol involves randomly drug testing its athletes months in advance, something they wouldn’t be able to do with Dy with the Lamas fight less than 2 weeks away.
Dy has been calling out for a spot on the UFC roster since early this year. He’s currently in training for his upcoming bout against Aydin Mrouki for PXC 55 in Guam.
PXC is known for allowing its fighters to sign with the UFC, as their former fighters Roldan Sangcha-an and Will Chope, and former champions Louis Smolka and Jenel Lausa have all done so.
If the stars align for Rolando Dy, might just see him headlining the UFC Manila card.