Over a year sitting on the sidelines, Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Roy Doliguez makes his much-awaited return to the ONE Championship cage on February 10 as he is set to square off with grappling ace Alex Silva in one of the undercard fights of ONE: Throne of Tigers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Doliguez, who holds a professional MMA record of 6-3, is considered one of the best strawweight competitors that the the Philippines has produced.
The 34-year-old native of Malungon, Sarangani is also a former professional boxer, who has nearly 50 fights under his belt. He captured the WBO Asia Pacific light flyweight title in September 2002.
Doliguez, who has been out of action since January 2016, did not mince words about his excitement for his comeback bout.
“I am back, and I am so happy. I might have been away from action for over a year, but the desire to compete has been always there. I am so excited. I want to put on a great fight for the fans in Malaysia. And of course, bring pride and honor to the Philippines,” he said.
Although he has been away from the international MMA spotlight for 14 months, Doliguez revealed that he kept himself active during his absence from active competition.
“I was still training. It did not stop. Even if there wasn’t a fight, I still trained like there is an upcoming fight. It’s my lifestyle. I’m in great shape for this fight,” he stated.
Doliguez stressed that his long layoff had a beneficial factor in his growth as a professional MMA fighter.
According to Doliguez, it gave him the chance to go back to the drawing board and assess his overall game.
“There are some facets of my MMA game that needs fine-tuning. With my year-long layoff, I was able to do that. The sport of MMA is always evolving. As a fighter, you always have to adapt to the changes,” he shared.
Doliguez, who relocated to Shenzhen, China last year to work as a trainer, asserted that his venture to a foreign soil opened a lot of doors of opportunity for him.
“My move to China had benefitted my growth in mixed martial arts. I was able to learn new things that I can incorporate with what I learned back home. It was a good decision on my part because I look at myself as a more complete fighter right now,” he explained.
With the year-long preparation that he went through overseas, Doliguez is determined to walk away with his arm raised.
“I’m so excited to be back inside the ONE Championship cage. I truly cherish this moment and opportunity. I can’t wait to show the new Roy Doliguez. I will give my best to get the victory in February,” he ended.