ONE: At 41, Rene Catalan still out to prove he’s far from done
MANILA, Philippines—Even at 41, Rene Catalan knows that his mixed martial arts career is far from over.
Despite starting his MMA career at 34, Catalan was already an accomplished wushu artist and his transition went from flat to downright meteoric.
The founder of Catalan Fighting System started off winless in his first three fights with two losses and one no contest, but strung up six straight wins to challenge Team Lakay’s Joshua Pacio for the ONE World strawweight championship.
Although Catalan lost to the 24-year-old Pacio, he’s hellbent on not letting his age be an issue moving forward.
“I know I was a bit old when I started in MMA, but I only adjusted for a bit because I came from a wushu background,” said Catalan (6-3). “If I didn’t come from that background, I think I would have struggled in MMA. Aside from the style, it also taught me discipline, focus, and dedication.”
Catalan, the no.3 strawweight in ONE Championship, said the loss to Pacio, which snapped his three-year-old winning streak, became more of a driving force for him to get better.
“It’s no secret that it’s my dream to become a World Champion in MMA, that is why I give my best every fight. The truth is the loss only motivated me to do better and work my way up once again. It’s not the end of it,” Catalan said.
“I am even more inspired now to take the top spot and earn another shot at a World Title.It won’t be any easier, but I plan to eradicate everything that is standing in my way.”
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