ONE Championship: Rene Catalan sees Joshua Pacio as biggest challenge yet

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 04, 2019 04:33 PM
ONE: Rene Catalan sees Joshua Pacio as biggest challenge yet
“Of all the sports, mixed martial arts is probably the hardest – and I’m facing a young, well-rounded and well-experienced fighter,” (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)

Rene "The Challenger" Catalan sees his clash with ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio as one of the biggest moments in his illustrious career. 

Catalan has been in World Title bouts before, winning a Wushu World Championship and gold medals in the Asian and Southeast Asian games. 

Now he is going for the strawweight gold in their headline clash at ONE MASTERS OF FATE this Friday, 8 November at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

“Of all the sports, mixed martial arts is probably the hardest – and I’m facing a young, well-rounded and well-experienced fighter,” Catalan said. 

His road to World Title contention did not come easy. He went 0-2-1 in his first three bouts in The Home of Martial Arts.

Catalan eventually learned the ropes of the sport and carved out a six-bout winning streak that started with a unanimous decision win over Zhang You Liang at ONE: UNBREAKABLE WARRIORS in September 2016.

“My adjustment was not really that hard,” the 40-year-old said. “The losses came and I took it in stride. I was just starting.” 

“In wushu, it has basic wrestling and basic judo. Now we added submissions and better conditioning. We just kept on working and God provided the rest.” 

With the World Title showdown just a few days away, Catalan expects the 23-year-old to be the hardest obstacle he has had to hurdle in his career. 

“This will be the most important and hardest battle as a martial artist.”

“It’s all about remaining disciplined, having determination and dedication, and being passionate at what you do.”

 

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