ONE: Rene Catalan A Step Closer To His Dreams As He Tangles With Yoshitaka Naito
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 11, 2019 10:25 AM
"Fans can expect a strong performance from me on fight night. I am hungry to challenge for the ONE Strawweight World Title." - Rene Catalan
Slowly but surely, Rene “The Challenger” Catalan is starting to realize his ONE Championship dreams.
He will participate in the biggest match of his career when he takes on former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR, which emanates from the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on 8 March.
After going 0-2-1 to start his career in The Home Of Martial Arts, the Catalan Fighting System coach is now the hottest athlete in his division. He is currently riding a five-bout win streak, a run which stretches back to 2016.
Now he has to put that streak on the line in order to inch closer to the World Title shot that he has long coveted.
"I am looking to showcase my best form yet against Naito, a former World Champion," he said. "Fans can expect a strong performance from me on fight night. I am hungry to challenge for the ONE Strawweight World Title."
That will be easier said than done, however.
Naito is a crafty veteran who is known for his world class grappling inside the cage. He holds wins over the biggest names in the strawweight division such as former world titleholders Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, Alex Silva, and Team Lakay's Joshua Pacio.
Naito has shown the ability to spell trouble for his opponents even with the smallest openings, owing to how good he can take a punch and mix his striking with his takedowns.
While the 40-year-old Filipino is aware that he will be coming in as an underdog against Naito, he vows to have everything covered as he prepares for his biggest match yet.
"Our focus in training is how to stop his takedown attempts," Catalan shared. "Naito will surely want this fight on the ground, it is my job to make sure he doesn't get a submission when we are on the mat."