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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan aims for second run at World Title contention

At age 41, just how much does Rene “The Challenger” Catalan have left in his gas tank? If you ask him, he might laugh at you for asking such an absurd question. 

Though retirement is a normal topic at his age, Catalan believes he can continue his run in martial arts.

“A lot of athletes my age are already retired, but I have a different mindset,” Catalan said.

“I have a goal and I plan to do everything in order to get back on track, and I hope to make it happen.”

For the pride of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, the goal is to get the only thing missing from his illustrious career in combat sports — a World Title in mixed martial arts.

He had that chance at ONE: Masters of Fate in November of 2019 when he battled compatriot and ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, but he ultimately fell short.

While some would feel discouraged after losing, “The Challenger” is not your ordinary athlete.

“It’s no secret that it’s my dream to become a World Champion in MMA, that is why I give my best every fight. The truth is the loss only motivated me to do better and work my way up once again. It’s not the end of it.”

After racking up six straight wins to get his shot, Catalan believes nothing is impossible for him now. And if he needs six more wins to get there, he is confident he can do it again.

“I am even more inspired now to take the top spot and earn another shot at a World Title. It won’t be any easier, but I plan to eradicate everything that is standing in my way.”


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