RENE Catalan tries to revive the Philippines’ quest for Asian mixed martial arts glory as he takes on Khim Dima on October 18 in ONE Fighting Championship: Total Domination in Singapore.
The 34-year-old pride of Sta. Barbara Iloilo is the country’s lone representative in the upcoming edition of Asia’s largest MMA promotion after five Filipinos, led by Honorio Banario and Eduard Folayang, lost their bouts in ONE FC: Rise to Power in Manila last May.
An Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in wushu, Catalan decided to try his luck in the world’s fastest-growing sport this year, although he lost his professional MMA debut last April when he bowed to Jiu Jitsu world champion Alex Silva via submission.
Catalan is aching to register his breakthrough victory, which he hopes would come against a Cambodian foe who is making his maiden ONE FC appearance.
The flyweight Catalan worked on his ground defense after Silva forced him to tap out with an armbar right in the first round.
“I held my own for the most part against a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, although I did get caught,” Catalan said. “I feel like I am so much better than I was then and won't make the same mistake."
The Catalan-Dima bout is just one of the nine featured fights in Total Domination, bannered by the world bantamweight championship fight between Bibiano Fernandes and Soo Chul Kim.
ONE FC lightweight champion Shinya Aoki of Japan moves down one weight class to battle featherweight Cody Stevens of the US in the co-main event.