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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan steps up as Kingad–Akhmetov ONE: Big Bang bout postponed

Former ONE Strawweight World Title contender Rene “The Challenger” Catalan is all set to return to action this week.

The no. five-ranked strawweight looks to return to winning ways when he takes on Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane at ONE: Big Bang this Friday, December 4, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

This clash will replace the match between Danny “The King” Kingad and Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, which was postponed after one of Kingad’s cornermen tested positive for COVID-19.

It will be Catalan’s first match after unsuccessfully challenging reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio at ONE: Masters of Fate last year. A win here would signify that the Ilonggo’s quest for the top is not yet over.

But he won’t have it easy against the South African wrestling machine, who has yet to taste defeat in seven matches and is itching to prove he belongs among the division’s elite.

Masunyane made a splash in his debut, scoring a convincing unanimous decision win over Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada, showcasing his explosive wrestling against the game Japanese athlete.

Against Catalan, though, he will face a different test. Instead, the former Asian Games wushu gold medalist presents a well-rounded striking game.

Before losing to Pacio in the World Title showdown, the pride of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, racked up six consecutive wins, finishing half of those in impressive fashion — including a dominant TKO win over former World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito.

By joining the card, Catalan will share the Circle with his student, Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres, who is slated to face Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat in the curtain-raiser of the evening.

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In the main event, ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia will defend his World Title against Murat “The Butcher” Aygun.

Catch ONE: Big Bang this Friday, December 4, live on the ONE Super App or One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT).

Also, One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. while TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT on Saturday, December 5.

Read More From ONE Championship:

Fearless Aygun Vows To Pressure Kryklia In World Title Challenge

Unbeaten Phogat Wants To Showcase ‘Something Different’ Vs. Torres

Tonon Aims To Continue His Stunning Transition To MMA Vs. Matsushima

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