RENE Catalan scored a stunning first round TKO win over former strawweight champion Yoshitaka Naito at ONE: Reign of Valor on Friday at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
It was a convincing win for the 40-year-old strawweight contender, unleashing a masterful performance with his striking game to stop his Japanese foe at the 4:32 mark of the first round.
Naito could not capitalize on his grappling game as Catalan showed relentlessness with his strikes, pummeling the two-time division king on his way to stretch his six-fight win streak.
"I know that his grappling is on a high level, but with my wrestling training with coach (Verangel Mana-ay Jr.), I was able to pin him down. There was an opening for a knee, that’s why I went for it, then I never stopped because I didn’t want to go to a second round," said the Filipino fighter.
Catalan improved to 6-2 (1 NC) and has put himself in a position for a title shot as he expects to be one of those in front of the line for the winner of the rematch between Yosuke Saruta and Joshua Pacio in April.
Meanwhile, Jomary Torres suffered a first round submission defeat to Lin Heqin of China.
Torres found herself trapped in a triangle choke and had no choice but to tap out at the 4:12 mark of the opening round.
The Zamboanguena challenger dropped to a 4-3 record in her MMA career.