By Jun Ray Navarres
The climb to the peak always starts at the bottom and most of the time it is not a steady ascent.
Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro knows this very well especially when he is competing in the stacked featherweight division of the world’s largest martial arts organization.
The Cebuano featherweight standout will face-off against highly regarded debutant James Yang on the lead card of ONE: REVOLUTION, hoping to register another win and join the title conversation.
“I know he’s a good fighter, so I have to really be at my best. But I’m not worried at all because I know all I need is to give it my best,” Rosauro said confidently.
It has been a tough journey for the Yaw-Yan Ardigma Cebu warrior getting guillotine choked on his debut against Chinese Li Kai Wen and followed by a unanimous decision loss to Sunoto Peringkat of Indonesia.
But Rosauro kept his composure and finally scored a notch in the winning column on his third outing against Yohan Mulia Legowo, showing what his striking prowess is capable of.
The 2018 Philippine International Jiujitsu Open gold medalist dedicated his win to his late father who never had the chance to witness him compete in ONE Championships.
But when things are looking pretty good for “Akiyama”, the world suddenly paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With Cebu City still included in the pandemic hotbeds in the country, it is indeed hard for Rosauro to maintain his fighting form.
“My training has been on and off because of the pandemic. Some days, the gym would be open, but most of the time, it’s closed. Sometimes, I’m forced to train at my home, which is also a difficult task on its own,” said Rosauro.
Nevertheless, Rosauro is confident that he has done his best to hone his striking arsenal while improving his ground game to keep up with Yang.
“I expect it to be a bloody fight and may the best man win,” concluded Rosauro.
It’s certainly a steep climb. But in the combat sports world, just one resounding victory makes a world of difference, especially if it’s an impressive one. If Rosauro can put together a winning performance against Yang that the fighting world will talk about, it could be the Filipino’s one-way ticket to the top.
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