ONE Championship: Robin Catalan preparing for Gustavo Balart's wrestling

By ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 28, 2019 12:23 PM

"I’m really excited for this match. This is where I will prove that I have improved, especially on the ground," - Robin Catalan (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)

Robin "The Ilonggo" Catalan will prove he has grown into a well-rounded mixed martial artist when he takes on three-time Pan American Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion Gustavo "El Gladiador" Balart.

The pair lock horns when ONE Championship returns to Manila, Philippines for ONE: MASTERS OF FATE on 8 November at the Mall Of Asia Arena.

Catalan, an IFMA Muay Thai World Champion, is known for his lightning-fast striking inside the Circle. But he plans to show his hometown crowd he is far more than that against Balart.

"I’m really excited for this match. This is where I will prove that I have improved, especially on the ground," said the Catalan Fighting System representative.

"We all know about the quality of his wrestling, but I am confident in my skills. His wrestling is really good, so I expect him to be really strong physically. I know he’s done a lot in his career and I’ll have my hands full."

Balart made his debut in The Home Of Martial Arts in April at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR where he suffered a unanimous decision loss in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix quarterfinals against Tatsumitsu "The Sweeper" Wada in a tightly-contested match-up.

The win continued to elude the Freedom Fighters MMA star when he took on Chan Rothana at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD in August in Bangkok, Thailand.  

Though the former Olympian is still winless, he was still able to get Catalan’s attention – particularly with his world-class wrestling.  

"I’ve been training hard on my wrestling defense while sharpening my striking at the same time. I know it will be a big factor in getting a win against Balart," Catalan said. 

Catalan sees his height and reach advantage as the key to getting a win over Balart. He holds a two-inch height advantage over his diminutive foe.  

“The Ilonggo” knows he will be in for a tough evening, but he promises to be at his best come event night.  

"I’ll keep my distance. I will maximize all my advantages so I can get the win," he said. 

"I have a lot of plans next year and I don’t want to end this year with a loss. I’m very excited and ready for this match. I’ll do everything to get that win in front of my compatriots."


Catch ONE: MASTERS OF FATE live on Friday, November 8th LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 on LIVESTREAM via the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page and on iWant starting at 8:30 PM.

ONE: MASTERS OF FATE will also air on Sunday's Best on November 17th, Sunday, at 11:30 PM with local commentatry from Anton Roxas and Theo Castillo


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