Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan has some unfinished business in ONE Championship.
The top Catalan Fighting System product is on a high after scoring a devastating knockout win over Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart at ONE: Masters of Fate, a result that could take him places in The Home Of Martial Arts.
But before anything else, he wants to settle the score against a former World Champion.
Catalan hopes to get another crack at the inaugural ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, as he suffered a second-round knockout loss to the Singapore-based Thai at ONE: Quest for Greatness back in 2017.
Believing that a lot has changed in three years, Catalan wants nothing more than to take that loss back before moving onto bigger things.
“I can take on anyone right now because I am so excited to fight after this lockdown. But if I am to choose, I want to face [Dejdamrong] again,” Catalan said.
“I think I didn’t fight to my potential against him. My preparation wasn’t sufficient, and it showed because he got the KO finish over me.”
But the 29-year-old from Iloilo City says that it’s not just about him.
Familial pride is also at stake, since his older brother and head coach Rene “The Challenger” Catalan also got bested by the three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion.
“I just want to finish that first,” he said. “In a sense, it’s also for our pride because [Dejdamrong] beat me and my brother in the past, so I just want to get that back.”
Catalan understands that the 41-year-old remains a dangerous foe as he is coming off a third-round stoppage win over Muhammad “The Spider” Imran at ONE: Edge of Greatness last November.
That is why Catalan promises to work double-time if he is given the chance to rematch the former World Champion.
“I’ll certainly be ready. I have to work on my cardio and maybe improve on my wrestling a bit. Of course, I also have to polish my striking because we all know he’s a good striker,” he said.
“You can expect a more explosive version of me in my return. Someone who is hungry and never satisfied.”
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