ONE Championship: Mark Sangiao Excited For Rene Catalan’s Rise In The Strawweight Division

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 13, 2019 06:10 PM
Mark Sangiao Excited For Rene Catalan’s Rise
"Rene Catalan is a strong competitor. I was particularly impressed with how he was able to defend himself against Naito's wrestling,” - Mark Sangiao on Rene Catalan

Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao has nothing but praise for his fellow martial artist and trainer Rene "The Challenger" Catalan after the latter's performance against former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito.

 

Catalan and Naito locked horns on the undercard of ONE: REIGN OF VALOR last Friday in Yangon, Myanmar, where the Filipino registered his most impressive win to date after defeating the former World Champion by way of first-round technical knockout.

 

"Nobita" was easily Catalan's most decorated and dangerous opponent to date, yet the bout turned out to be a one-sided show in favor of "The Challenger" that evening, leaving Sangiao in awe - particularly with Catalan’s wrestling.

 

"Rene Catalan is a strong competitor. I was particularly impressed with how he was able to defend himself against Naito's wrestling,” said Sangiao who go way back with the Iloilo  native.

 

"I knew since his days in wushu that he has power in his hands. It was an excellent performance because he was well prepared for Naito's style. It was great to see him get a the first-round knockout win."

 

It was a victory which saw Catalan extend his winning streak to six, and a performance that could likely result into World Title contention for him.

 

After starting his career in The Home Of Martial Arts with two losses and a no-contest, Sangiao was certainly impressed with the way Catalan worked on his craft.

 

"His early fights at ONE did not end the way he wanted it to be, but he kept on improving and so did the level of opponents he faced. He deserves credit for that," Sangiao stressed.

 

With the win over Naito, Catalan will now be the most interested spectator in the ONE Strawweight World Title match at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR between Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio and Yosuke Saruta of Japan.

 

Assuming Pacio hurdles Saruta and regains his World Title, a Pacio - Catalan match could be in the works and it’s something that Sangiao vows to prepare for.  

 

"For us in Team Lakay we have no problem facing anyone. We fought against fellow Filipinos before so it is not something new to us," Sangiao said.

 

"If Catalan earned the right to be a contender for the world title, then he deserves to fight the winner between Joshua Pacio and Yosuke Saruta. If that would be the case then we will prepare really hard for it."

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