AFTER years of strutting his wares in the local ranks, Filipino martial artist Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro finally gets his long-awaited break into the international scene as he is set to make his promotional debut in ONE Championship on February 23.
Rosauro is slated to square off with Chinese prospect Li Kai Wen in a three-round featherweight bout on the undercard of ONE: Quest For Gold, which takes place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
The 29-year-old native of Cebu stepped in as a replacement for compatriot Rodian Menchavez, who was forced to withdraw from his clash with Li at the aforementioned event due to an injury.
Rosauro is the fifth Cebuano to showcase his skills on Asia’s premier martial arts stage, following in the footsteps of Cary Bullos, Vaughn Donayre, Eugene Toquero and Jimmy Yabo.
“I was shocked, but I’m very happy because this is what I have been dreaming of, to reach this level,” he said. “I have waited for this opportunity for so long. This is a dream come true for me to compete on one of the sport’s biggest stages. I will fight not only for myself but also for the pride of my country.”
Holding a professional record of 4-1, Rosauro is a practitioner of the Filipino martial arts discipline Yaw-Yan, which was derived from the last two syllables of Sayaw ng Kamatayan, meaning “Dance of Death.” Yaw-Yan is a Filipino style of kickboxing, which was developed by the late grandmaster Napoleon “Nap” Fernandez to specifically suit the smaller Filipino body frame.