Fighters on the Rise at Singapore this week

The UFC’s globe-trotting June continues as the Octagon shifts to its third continent in as many weeks with this weekend’s Fight Night event at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Airing on UFC FIGHT PASS, the organization’s sophomore appearance in Singapore boasts a strong lineup headlined by a women’s bantamweight clash between Holly Holm and Bethe Correia, with heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura in the co-main event and a pair of intriguing welterweight clashes rounding out the four-fight main card.

The event also features familiar names like Alex Caceres and Justin Scoggins looking to rebound and build momentum and a collection of newcomers with intriguing potential looking to get their UFC careers off on the right foot.

Here’s a look at three of those men.

This is On the Rise: Singapore Edition.

Rolando Dy

Stepping in for Guan Wang, the 25-year-old Filipino featherweight gets the opportunity to make an instant impression in his promotional debut as he shares the cage with Caceres on Saturday.

Competing primarily for Pacific Xtreme Combat, the Guam-based organization that graduated fighters like Louis Smolka, Hyun Gyu Lim and Jon Tuck to the UFC, Dy is unbeaten in his last four and 6-2 with a no contest after alternating wins and losses over his first four bouts to start his career.

The son of former WBC junior lightweight champ Rolando Navarette, Dy originally wanted to follow in his famous father’s footsteps, but ultimate chose mixed martial arts. Now, “Dy Incredible” has the opportunity to collect a victory on the biggest stage in the sport against an established, experienced foe in maiden voyage into the Octagon.

Although Caceres has lost back-to-back contests, those setbacks have come against a pair of talented, rising contenders in Yair Rodriguez and Jason Knight. The former Ultimate Fighter standout remains a tough out and tricky puzzle to solve with his long limbs and inventive, fluid attacks, but if Dy is able to stride into the cage on Saturday night and pick up his first UFC win, he’ll rocket to the outskirts of the Top 15 and establish himself as one to watch in the second half of 2017.

Naoki Inoue and Carls John de Tomas

Inoue will be looking to get himself a belated birthday present when he hits the Octagon for his UFC debut on Saturday, as the unbeaten Japanese newcomer turns 20 just three days prior. Sporting an unblemished record of his own, de Tomas will be looking to collect an early birthday present and spoil Inoue’s party as the Filipino flyweight will turn 21 in August.

While both are relatively short on experience, both have been perfect to begin their careers, with Inoue earning submission finishes in seven of his 10 appearances and de Tomas earning finishes in half of his eight wins. Though they’ve each competed exclusively on the regional circuit thus far, both have stepped up their level of competition in recent outings, facing their more seasoned, experienced foes to date in their final two bouts before getting called up to the big leagues and being paired together on this weekend’s card.

Across the roster, there has been an influx of promising, young talent – fighters who are still in the early stages of their development, but showing signs of potential – and Inoue and de Tomas represent two such fighters in the flyweight division.

As new featherweight kingpin Max Holloway showed, there are benefits to gaining early seasoning inside the Octagon, even if the results aren’t there initially, and while it’s far too early to predict whether either of these two 125-pound neophytes will one day rise to the top of their division the way Holloway has, they’re beginning their UFC journeys early, much like the Hawaiian standout, and should benefit greatly from it in the future.


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