Rene Catalan all out to seize his time
MANILA, Philippines—Rene Catalan was never discouraged when he began his MMA career with a string of losses.
Catalan kept going and that perseverance turned his fortunes around, leading to a world title fight.
The resurgent Filipino is now a headliner as he challenges compatriot Joshua Pacio for the ONE strawweight world title in ONE: Masters of Fate on Friday before a hometown crowd at Mall of Asia Arena.
“When I lost three straight, I accepted it,” Catalan said. “I was a newbie in MMA. But every time I competed in a sport, my goal was to become a world champion. I felt like losing early was normal because I was just starting.”
“On fight cards, it was totally normal to open in the prelims because I was just starting. But I told myself that eventually I will be in the main event.”
Catalan is determined to make the most of his opportunity to be in the main event just like the way he rose from the ashes to come just a step away from the pedestal.
“I doubled on training and I worked on my wrestling and striking. I just worked hard,” Catalan said. “It’s just a matter of discipline, determination, and dedication, alongside our passion with what we do.”
“I won’t waste this opportunity because I know things like this don’t come often.”
The 40-year-old Catalan, who is on a six-fight tear, had mixed emotions in fighting a fellow Filipino, but he also knew that fighting for the world title is too big of an opportunity to pass up.
“I declined at first, but I know how big of an opportunity this is. I’ve worked hard for this,” Catalan said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.