Catalan rues slipped chance against Masunyane
MANILA, Philippines—Rene Catalan and Bokang Masunyane are two fighters on the different ends of the style spectrum, but during their strawweight clash in ONE: Big Bang, it was the wrestler that ended the fight via strikes.
Masunyane, a natural grappler, needed just two strikes to finish off Catalan, a wushu practitioner, to score his biggest victory in ONE Championship.
A knee to the head and a head kick to the jaw was what Masunyane needed, and Catalan was nonetheless surprised with how his younger opponent took it to him with using pinpoint striking.
“Actually my game plan was to match whatever strikes he throws at me,” said Catalan in Filipino. “For example, I’ll box him in the first round using mostly jabs then move on to my right in the second.”
“My game plan was really focused on striking and match whatever he throws at me.”
Masunyane, however, wasn’t keen on using his fists and he immediately found his rhythm landing a knee straight to the face of Catalan during a clinch.
The 41-year-old Catalan said he tried to use his grappling when Masunyane put him on the clinch but the South African fighter, who is 15 years his junior, had the wherewithal to quickly get away from the clinch once the knee landed.
“When he struck me with the knee I tried to take him down using my wushu where I would catch his leg but he was able to release his clinch immediately,” said Catalan (6-4). “That’s what wrestlers do, it’s like an instinct for them.”
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