ONE Championship: Rene Catalan all praise for champ Joshua Pacio
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 11, 2019 03:14 PM
“I just hope he stays injury free and he remains disciplined because I see him holding the belt for a long time.” - Rene Catalan on ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
After a heated build-up to their bout last Friday, 8 November, Rene "The Challenger" Catalan now sings praises for ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua "The Passion" Pacio following their epic encounter for the ONE Strawweight World Title.
The 40-year-old saw his six-bout win streak snapped as the Team Lakay star forced a submission by arm-triangle in the second round of their clash at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE in Manila, Philippines.
Aside from Pacio's strength and technique inside the ring, "The Challenger" was most impressed by his counterpart's grit and unbending determination to win.
“I was really planning to get that heel hook and leg lock, that’s where I tried to get the submission,” Catalan said.
“I heard his ankle snap three times, but he just stayed on it. He was really strong, that’s what surprised me. He was really determined, and his fighting spirit is really impressive.”
Experiencing firsthand what the 23-year-old World Champion from Baguio City is capable of, Catalan believes the young phenom could end up the longest-reigning World Title holder in The Home Of Martial Arts.
“He will reign long. He is still young, he’s just 23 and if he remains disciplined, he will reach even bigger heights,” Catalan said.
“I just hope he stays injury free and he remains disciplined because I see him holding the belt for a long time.”
As for “The Challenger,” he may have lost but he gained a wealth of experience and confidence that could prove useful moving forward.
Not the type to lose hope after a setback, the Catalan Fighting System head coach will return to the gym, motivated to train and improve his flaws.
“Pacio is the king of the division and I was there with him. I’m gonna come in even more confident the next time out because I feel like Pacio is the strongest in the division.”
As far as the World Title, Catalan now has a better grasp of what he has to work on to achieve that goal.
"I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to MMA,“ Catalan said.
“Now I’m even more motivated to train. I am hungrier to get back in there and get another chance at a World Title shot.”