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Catalan paves way for next generation

LIKE most everyone else fighters also want to share their knowledge with the next generation of practitioners.

In this sense MMA fighter, coach and trainer Rene Catalan is not unique. What makes him unique is that Catalan is still at the peak of his fighting prowess and competing at the highest levels of MMA competition at ONE Championship.

Though still an active professional fighter Catalan has already established the school Catalan Fighting System Philippines Fitness and Mixed Martial Arts at 4th floor Yague Street, Tejeros, Makati (0915-4989804).

Rene ‘D Challenger’ Catalan (right) unloads with a high kick at opponent Zhang You Liang who falls back into the cage. Catalan beat Zhang by unanimous decision.  ONE Championship

Catalan has a staff of equally well-trained and experienced fighters who can help upcoming fighters who want to become better at their craft. They also welcome fitness enthusiasts who just want to improve their physical conditioning through combat training.

Meanwhile, Catalan wants to extend his three-fight win streak when he squares off against China’s Peng Xue Wen in a three-round strawweight battle at ONE: Kings of Courage at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia on January 20.

Catalan started 2017 on a high note by submitting Indonesian prospect Adrian Matheis via a second-round armbar in January before routing China’s Bu Huo You Ga by way of unanimous decision seven months later.

Catalan will be the lone Filipino representative at ONE Championship’s first live event of 2018.

“I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning. I am inspired to win my match this coming January 20 because I am representing the Philippines. It is always an honor to fight for my country. My goal in this bout is to win and bring pride to my nation,” said Catalan.

Members of the Catalan Fighting System Philippines go through their paces in their gym.

“My goal is to compete for the ONE Strawweight World Championship. I know before I get to that stage, I still have a lot of work ahead of me.”

Catalan had a rough start in ONE Championship in 2016. He lost to Alex “Little Rock” Silva who is now the ONE Strawweight World Champion.

But Catalan has rallied and strung together three consecutive victories since September 2016 and will look to break into the upper echelon of the division.

Peng is a 2014 Chinese National Youth Greco Champion who made his promotional debut at ONE: Legends of the World in the Philippines November, 2017.

The Chinese standout leaned on his grappling to overwhelm Cambodia’s Phat Soda before knocking him out with an awe-inspiring suplex halfway through the opening round.

Rene ‘D Challenger’ Catalan (right) tries to wrap his arms around the neck of opponent Adrian Matheis. Matheis managed to wiggle out of the attempted rear naked choke but eventually lost to Catalan by submission through armbar. ONE Championship

Catalan is well aware of his opponent’s grappling expertise and is diligently training to stuff Peng’s grappling and then bring into play his own explosive skillset.

“I am preparing a solid defense against him, but of course I am mixing in some offense as well. I am not sure if he will expect that I will add a twist to my game, but 80 percent of my preparation is in strength and conditioning,” said Catalan.

 “For this match, I think the strategy will flow once I am in the cage. I will just do my best to get the win, but also provide an exciting bout for the audience to enjoy.”

Catalan said he expects to secure a decisive win over Peng at ONE: Kings of Courage and then go on to fight a rematch against Silva with the ONE Strawweight World Championship on the line.

“Every fighter dreams to become a world champion. I really hope that ONE Championship will give me an opportunity to vie for the title in the future. This bout might be the door to a world title contest. Let us all hope for the best,” said Catalan.

Topics: ONE Championship
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