MANILA, Philippines – Rene Catalan will be fighting for more than just a victory when he enters the ONE cage in ONE: Big Bang tonight in Singapore.
Catalan, ranked third in the division, will seek the first step in earning another shot at the ONE Strawweight World Championship.
Going up against undefeated Bokang Masunyane from South Africa, Catalan is returning to action for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I feel excited to be back in competition. This is what I love to do. It's where I belong," said Catalan.
"My goal is to come up and take the top ranking in the division, so expect me to fight strong," he said. "I am hungry and I will fight like it."
The former ONE Strawweight world title challenger took the fight on short notice after Danny Kingad's bout against Kairat Akhmetov was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 case in Kingad's party.
Catalan, however, is not worried with the shortened preparation.
"I've worked a lot on my wrestling over the past few years and I'm at a point now where I am comfortable… I am a wushu sanda striker, and I will strike him," he said of his advantage over Masunyane.
"This is not going to be an easy fight. But I think I have the edge in experience," he added.
Catalan will be joined in the fight card by his student Jomary Torres, who seeks to end a four-bout losing slide, going up against Ritu Phogat.
ONE: Big Bang is headlined by the ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Championship between titlist Roman Kryklia and Murat Aygun.
The card begins at 8:30 p.m. Philippine time.
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