Rene “The Challenger” Catalan may be knee deep in his blossoming career with ONE Championship, but he is looking towards the future.
In fact, the strawweight contender is already scouting young talents who could represent Philippine mixed martial arts in the years to come.
Catalan, a former Wushu World Champion with a professional mixed martial arts record of 6-2-1, launched his promotion Philippine Encuentro Championship. He held its inaugural event at the Catalan Fighting System Training Camp in Makati on Saturday, May 25.
The 40-year-old’s goal for putting up a local show is plain and simple: discover hidden talents who could end up as the next Rene Catalan or Eduard Folayang.
“One of my missions is to help out my fellow Filipinos — for them to see their potential in mixed martial arts and for me to help them develop it. No drama, no politics, just mixed martial arts,” he explained.
”I saw many young athletes, and I can already see a good future for them. We had a lot of support from Iloilo and Baguio. It just means there’s a lot of potential to unearth, especially if events like this would continue.”
True enough, Catalan was able to witness potential in what he witnessed that evening.
He saw promise in the youth through his own promotion, and he believes the prospects he discovered just need proper guidance in order to be successful.
“The future looks bright. I see them as the next ones who will carry the mantle in mixed martial arts. Some promote fights for business, but me being a national athlete, my only goal is to help out my fellow athletes,” he said.
“This a stepping stone. This is to encourage Pinoys to enter martial arts. I did this event so that Filipinos won’t just focus on boxing or Muay Thai, but mixed martial arts in general.”
Catalan also admitted that setting up a show has its drawbacks.
It surely isn’t cheap, but he feels it is a sacrifice he has to make for the sake of expanding the sport in the country.
“I guess we need to invest in this mission, even though I’m doing all the spending because there are no sponsors in this,” he added.
“That’s my passion — develop mixed martial arts in the Philippines.”
Justin Brownlee carries Ginebra to bounce back OT win over San Miguel
Lester Prosper looks to be with Columbian ‘for the long run’
Jerramy King still working his way back to Columbian
De Guzman lifts PLDT to bounce back win; Army, Navy create tie at fourth
Ateneo Lady Eagles in unison: ‘Sisi Rondina made everything so much harder’
Mighty Sports taps Mikey Williams, Aaron Black for Jones Cup
Tolentino siblings made sure to bring glory to Ateneo in final years
Kat Tolentino leaves Ateneo at peace
Saldua’s putback, Robles’ swat pave way for Davao Occidental’s escape of Zamboanga
Collado, Gabo connive as Basilan Steel give Bicol rude MPBL welcome
Motolite picks up first win at skidding Bali Pure’s expense
PacificTown-Army ends first round at solo third, outlasts BanKo
- News5 days ago
Kalei Mau transfers to F2 Logistics as UVC disbands
- News4 days ago
Bryan Bagunas signs with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler
- News4 days ago
Kalei Mau on choosing F2: ‘I thought about what team will benefit me as a player’
- Basketball4 days ago
Alex Nuyles gets a new lease on life with Bicol Volcanoes