2019 was Catalan Fighting System’s rise to prominence in ONE Championship after its head coach and founder Rene “The Challenger” Catalan made a surprise run for the Strawweight World Title.
Now, all eyes will be on his brother, Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan, and he intends to do the same thing this year.
The younger Catalan ended the year in highlight-reel fashion, stopping Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart at ONE: Masters of Fate in November 2019 with a head kick in the second round.
With momentum on “The Ilonggo’s” side, expectations are certainly higher for the 30-year-old.
“Robin just cannot wait to get back into the Circle. We’re hopeful that he’s next in line to climb up the division and get that title shot,” Rene Catalan said.
“I think he’s two or three impressive wins away from it, and we’ll take on anyone just to get there.”
And Robin is up to the challenge.
The goal for the younger Catalan is to repeat the same run of Rene when he put together six straight wins to get a showdown with ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.
Catalan lost the bout, but the match-up proved that the Philippines consists of more than just Team Lakay.
“If I can get those consecutive wins and rack up a streak behind me, maybe it is indeed my turn to raise the flag of our team.
“I am ready to fight anytime now. If they call me and tell me I am needed for March or April, I am ready,” Catalan said.
Whether he gets his goal this year or not, the IFMA Muay Thai World Champion believes this year will be very good for his growth, especially with the expectations he bears on his shoulders.
“Whatever happens this year, expect me to come out of it stronger and wiser. My training is a whole lot tougher now because I know things won’t come easy,” Catalan said.
“When I return, I expect the best fighters, so I have to come in prepared.”
Meanwhile, ONE Championship returns to The Lion City with ONE: King of the Jungle next Friday, February 28, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Three local athletes will banner the flag on that night as Honorio “The Rock” Banario battles Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai; Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo takes on “Pretty Boy” Troy Worthen; and Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga takes on Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi all on the lead card.
Catch all the action at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE next Friday, 28 February.
The main card starts at 8:30 PHT on ABS CBN S+A.
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