Rolando Navarette's son seeks to fly PH flag in MMA as boxing's popularity slides
Rolando Dy, winner of 6 of his 10 pro fights, battles an unbeaten Japanese fighter in PXC 53. Jerome Ascano

MIXED martial arts is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports and could even progress further, especially in the Philippines, with boxing’s top draw about to hang up his gloves.

Rolando Dy looks to pounce on the opportunity as he takes part in the co-main event of Pacific X-Treme Combat 53 against Koyomi Matsushima on Friday night at the Solaire Grand Ballroom.

“Manny is retiring, so it’s not just me, but sa lahat ng Filipino MMA fighters, we must rise,” Dy said in the press launch on Wednesday. “Ipakilala natin yung sport na hindi lang yung boxing [tayo] nakikilala ng mundo.”

“Kailangan mas angatan pa natin ang boxing,” added the 24-year-old fighter who, ironically, is a son of a boxing great in Rolando Navarette.

Dy is one of eight Pinoys who will see action in the 9-fight card with the main event pitting Swedish Zebastian Kadestam and Glenn Sparv of Finland.

Dy, who beat Miguel Mosquera via unanimous in his first bout as a featherweight last January, faces a Japanese foe who is unbeaten in five fights.

“I know we can excel if mayroon tayong proper training, proper knowledge, and support ng government,” said Dy, who has won six of his 10 pro fights.

“I think we can be the best MMA fighters in the world like in boxing if those three ma-i-provide sa atin,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos