MANILA – Ilonggo mixed martial arts fighter Rene Catalan is unfazed with the underdog tag as he challenges strawweight world champion and fellow Filipino Joshua Pacio in ONE: Masters of Fate on Nov. 8 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Catalan said he does not mind if Pacio is heavily-favored to win the all-Filipino encounter as he is working hard on training to pull off an upset in the world title clash.
“He’s really good. He has youth by his side and he has an excellent camp. There are a lot of people who can help him, and I know that I’m the underdog if we meet,” Catalan said.
“But I am confident in this match. I will stay in front of him, wherever this match goes,” added the 40-year-old Catalan. He won his last six ONE FC matches – including over Adrian Matheis, Stefer Rahardian, and most recently, a first-round TKO win over Yoshitaka Naito, making him the first man to stop the Japanese submission specialist.
“I am really determined to win, that’s my advantage,” Catalan said. “Unanimous decision. That’s how I see where this match is going. I’ll give everything when we meet. I won’t be giving an inch.”
For Pacio, this will be his first title defense since regaining the belt after knocking out Japanese MMA fighter Yosuke Saruta in their rematch last April in Manila.
The 23-year old Pacio is currently on his second run as the strawweight king and holds wins over the likes of former champions in Yoshitaka Naito and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke./PN