Rene “The Challenger” Catalan continues to stay busy while he awaits his next challenge in ONE Championship
After a successful debut event last month, he has plans in store for the second show from his upstart organization, the Philippine Encuentro Championship (PEC). It will be held on 27 July at his growing Catalan Fighting System training center in Makati.
Catalan, who continues to inspire young athletes with his blazing run in The Home Of Martial Arts, was encouraged by the turnout of his first event. Now, he hopes to build off its success.
The 40-year-old said he is expecting 15 matches on that day. That means 30 talents would compete, giving "The Challenger" a chance to discover future athletes who could eventually appear in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“I’m really excited for the young ones who have been so eager for another event because it’s another chance for them to show their talents,” he explained.
“The feedback was good from our previous event, and it really motivated me to push for the second one and make it more interesting.
“Here, we don’t favor friends and we don’t do this for business. That’s what makes this special.”
Completely aware of the massive growth of martial arts in the country, Catalan admitted there are only a few platforms where aspiring young competitors can test their mettle.
The ONE Strawweight World Title contender believes that PEC could inspire more organizations to host local martial arts events and provide more opportunities for up-and-coming talents.
“As I’ve said before, there are a lot of athletes here in the Philippines who can’t seem to get a break because of the lack of local promotions,” he continued.
“With the help of PEC, I hope to encourage more people to hold tournaments like this one. It will surely help our athletes.
“I hope this tournament becomes a bridge for the sport to reach more heights in the country and to produce future World Champions.”