With less than 48 hours before his return to the ONE Championship
Circle, Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan only has his country on his mind.
The Filipino, who is an IFMA Muay Thai World Champion, is set to lock horns with Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit in a strawweight mixed martial arts bout at ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT
, which emanates from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday.
This will be Catalan’s second appearance in The Home Of Martial Arts in 2019.
He opened the year with an impressive victory over Indonesian hero Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY
in Jakarta this past January.
But most importantly, this will be another opportunity for the Catalan Fighting System product to show how Filipinos are truly elite in the world's fastest-growing sport.
“Every opportunity that comes my way is important, and I am proud because, through martial arts, I am given a chance to represent the country,” the 28-year-old said.
From international wushu tournaments to Muay Thai contests, “The Ilonggo” has been raising the Philippine flag for more than a decade. He has claimed multiple medals and World Titles in his run.
Whether it is in wushu, Muay Thai, or mixed martial arts, Catalan knows he is carrying the nation on his shoulders — and that pushes him to be at his best.
“It’s a different feeling, to be given a chance to represent the Philippines in martial arts,” he said.
Catalan admits there is pressure, especially since he is competing in his opponent’s home country.
For him, however, no amount of pressure will match his willingness to win it all for his family and compatriots.
“Of course there’s pressure, especially when I’m scheduled to fight overseas,” he said.
“But that’s mitigated by my willingness to become a World Champion, and my determination to make my family and my countrymen proud.”