ONE Championship: Rene Catalan now open to showdown with kababayan Joshua Pacio
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 05, 2019 04:05 PM
“Before I declined because I support fellow Filipinos, but we’ve been receiving words from their fans - and Pacio said that he will knock me out in less than 15 minutes, so now I’m beginning to think about it.” - Rene Catalan
The 40-year-old founder of Catalan Fighting System previously shrugged off talks about sharing the Circle with a fellow Filipino martial artist.
But upon hearing comments from fans of the Team Lakay camp, it seems like the rivalry, which has stretched for years, is set to be rekindled.
“I would not say no to whoever ONE Championship gives me,” Catalan shared.
“Before I declined because I support fellow Filipinos, but we’ve been receiving words from their fans - and Pacio said that he will knock me out in less than 15 minutes, so now I’m beginning to think about it.”
Nationalism has always been a priority for the former Asian Games gold medalist, and that is why he was adamant in saying no to a possible match-up with Pacio.
But that would have to take a backseat as his competitive spirit kicks in.
“We’ve always been rivals, dating back to early 2000s. But [we’re all] Filipinos, so outside of it, I support them,” Catalan shared.
“With the things being said now from their fans, I’m beginning to get tired of it.”
Though yet to receive an official offer, Catalan says it pays to be ready.
After all, he has built a pretty solid case for himself. He won his last six bouts in impressive fashion.
“I wouldn’t back down from any challenge. When [Pacio] said that he’ll knock me out, that lit a fire in me,” Catalan shared.
“It has always been this way. People feel like Team Lakay will beat Catalan athletes, but let’s see.”
Watch ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, on ABS-CBN S+A at 9:30pm PHT.
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