SINGAPORE – The two Filipino mixed martial artists who saw action on Saturday in UFC Singapore Fight Night: Holm versus Correia fought gamely but ultimately fell short as Rolando Dy suffered a stoppage loss to American Alex Caceres and CJ De Tomas lost via unanimous decision to Naoki Inoue of Japan.
Dy stepped in The Octagon wanting to carve out his own legacy in the fight game. The son of Filipino boxing champion Rolando Navarette had a decent record of 8 wins, 4 losses, and a draw but he was heading into his first UFC fight riding a three-fight winning streak.
After being the aggressor early in round 1, things started to turn sour for Dy when his takedown attempt was easily handled by Caceres. The lanky American fighter, who had a 4-inch reach advantage, teed off on Dy, peppering him with punches to the head and kicks to the legs and body.
Caceres scored a huge knockdown with a southpaw one-two and then tried to finish the fight with a choke but Dy weathered the storm. The Filipino survived round 1 but the doctor had to go inside the cage to check on him. The straight left landed by Caceres landed squarely on Dy’s eye causing it to swell.
The second round was a war with both fighters hitting huge shots. Dy had a much better performance but he was clearly being bothered by his right eye. The doctor once again checked on Dy to determine if he could he from his swollen eye and he ultimately decided not to let the Filipino fighter continue, to the dismay of both fighters and even the fans inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium as they were being treated to an entertaining fight.
Caceres upped his record to 13 wins against 10 losses and 1 no contest.
“He’s a tough kid,” Caceres said of Dy. “He has a fighter’s heart. He defended the choke when I thought I had it deep and I hope he comes back.”
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Earlier in the night, De Tomas entered his contest carrying an eight-fight winning streak to start his career but he was up against a big test in Japan’s Naoki Inoue who was also undefeated at 10-0.
De Tomas scored a huge takedown in the first minute of the opening round but Inoue easily made it back to his feet. After a few seconds of grappling, the Japanese fighter took De Tomas’ back, locked in a body triangle, and went for an rear naked choke.
However, the Filipinos scrambled out of the predicament but almost fell for an armbar. De Tomas spent the rest of round 1 on his back initially on half guard and then a full guard later on.
The two stayed on their feet in the opening minutes of the second round and Inoue connected with a few crisp leg kicks and clean punches. The Japanese fighter was waiting for De Tomas to throw and miss then he responded with quick combinations.
Inoue took the Filipino’s back again later in the round where he transitioned from a rear-naked choke attempt to an armbar. Luckily for De Tomas, the round ended just before Inoue could lock it in completely.
The tide almost turned in the third round when Inoue over-committed to a single-leg takedown attempt. De Tomas rained down elbows on the Japanese fighter’s head, even drawing blood.
De Tomas’ last gasp try was a rear-naked choke attempt of his own but Inoue was too slippery to get caught with it.
In the end, all three judges scored it identically for the Japanese fighter, 30-26.
“This is my debut fight (in the UFC) and I’m happy with my performance. I practiced it and it all went very, very well. I expected takedowns but I defended all of them and I’m happy,” said Inoue. “I want to improve my all around skill, I want to not be a submission specialist but also improve my striking and kicking too.”