Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan fell flat in his return to ONE Championship.
The 32-year-old Filipino dropped a first-round submission loss to Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada at the previously-recorded ONE: Unbreakable III, which aired on Friday evening from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“The Ilonggo” had no answers for the Japanese athlete’s persistent grappling. He tried to turn the match into a striking contest, but Sawada’s game plan was too strong from the get-go.
The finish came near the end of the first round as Sawada scored a single-leg takedown and landed in side control. Sawada then jumped into the mount position and Catalan tried to break free but gave up his back.
From there, Sawada patiently broke Catalan down as the CFS standout made an effort to avoid being choked out. Sawada wasn’t having any of it, though; he softened up Catalan with punches, eventually locking in the rear-naked choke to get the win.
The victory allowed Sawada to continue his climb up the loaded strawweight division – where the prodigious Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has ruled for the last two years. Catalan, on the other hand, failed to make it two wins in a row after his sensational head-kick knockout of Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart in Manila.
Upsets were rampant in the headliners, too.
Alyona Rassohyna pulled off a last-second submission win over no. 5-ranked atomweight Stamp Fairtex in the main event.
With time winding down and Stamp seemingly en route to a unanimous decision win, Rassohyna locked in a guillotine choke. She forced the Fairtex star to submit with less than 10 seconds to go in the match.
In the co-main event, Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade continued his winning ways in The Home Of Martial Arts. He edged out no. 2-ranked bantamweight Shoko Sato via unanimous decision.
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