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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan puts self into title contention, stops ex-ONE champ Naito



Tiebreaker Times Rene Catalan puts self into title contention, stops ex-ONE champ Naito Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  Yoshitaka Naito Rene Catalan ONE: Reign of Valor Lin Heqin Jomary Torres Catalan Fighting System

After starting his career with two losses, Rene Catalan is now a bonafide championship contender.

Friday evening in Myanmar, the 2006 Asian Games gold medalist scored the biggest win in his six-year career as a mixed martial artist, knocking off former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito during ONE: Reign of Valor.

This is the 40-year-old Ilonggo’s sixth straight win – three of which came from stoppages.

Knowing that this fight will put him on the map, Catalan was a man possessed all throughout the contest, which lasted for just four minutes and 43 seconds.

Naito, a known grappler, went for the shoot early but was stuffed by Catalan. The Japanese fighter was persistent, eventually gaining an advantage early in the contest.

‘D Challenger, though, did not lose his cool, staying calm on the mat before being able to regain his footing.

Once there, Catalan threw hard hammer fists, busting up Naito.

Seeing blood, Catalan did not stop. Though Naito tried to cover up the right side of his face, Catalan would throw left uppercuts to open his opponent’s guard.

With just 27 seconds left in the bout, the official had no other choice but to stop the bout.

Naito fell to 13-3, losing three of his last four bouts. This was his first loss via stoppage.

Earlier in the night, Catalan’s prized pupil Jomary Torres suffered her third straight loss after being locked up a triangle choke by Heqin Lin (8-3-1).

Torres, who fell to 4-3, had no choice but to tap to the hold at the 4:12 mark of the first round.