Robin Catalan scored the biggest win of his career at ONE: ‘Masters of Fate’. The Filipino finished experienced Cuban wrestler Gustavo Balart with a head kick.

He has not had an opportunity to follow up on that win, which came in Manila last November. But Catalan’s confidence is sky high and he has an opponent in mind,

“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,” he says.

Old rival 

Dejdamrong beat him at ONE: ‘Quest for Greatness’, knocking the Filipino out with a devastating knee. It is a loss that still rankles with Catalan,

“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.”

Dejdamrong finished Rene Catalan in exactly the same fashion, at ONE: ‘Warrior’s Way’ back in 2014. It is a rivalry that his younger brother wants to renew,

“I just want to finish that first. 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.”

More explosive

Opportunities to compete have been non existent for Filipino fighters. No events are being held inside the country and no-one is currently able to travel overseas for international fights.

But when normal service does resume and ONE Championship starts promoting events again Catalan says he will be ready,

“I’ll certainly be ready. You can expect a more explosive version of me in my return. Someone who is hungry and never satisfied.”

Catalan is already preparing specifically for a bout with Dejdamrong. The 29 year old knows what the Thai fighter’s strengths are and the areas he needs to improve on,

“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.”