Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan may not have gotten the best start under the ONE Championship banner, but after snagging his first promotional win last April, he is hungry for more.
However, a tough test awaits Catalan as he is slated to lock horns with former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke on the undercard of ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, 18 August.
Catalan is expected to have his hands full as he shares the ONE Championship cage with Dejdamrong, who is a three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion with over 25 years of competitive experience.
Having a professional record of 7-2, Dejdamrong is known as a technical striker with quick hands and lightning feet, employing some of the most unique and creative combinations.
Even though Catalan is a striker by nature with his Wushu-Sanda pedigree, his opponent is a living legend in the discipline known as “The art of eight limbs.”
“I know he is much more experienced than me, and I look up to that. I also admire his striking skills. It is one of the things we are cautious about,” he said.
The 27-year-old Iloilo City native might have a tall order in front of him in Dejdamrong, but he remains unperturbed with the fact that the most challenging bout in his young career is ahead of him.
“I don’t see it as a problem. To me, this is a challenge that can bring out the best in me. The core of martial arts is to unleash a human’s true potential. I want to know my potential in this sport. That’s why I am happy to be in this bout against a talented competitor and a former champion like him,” Catalan stated.
Adding fuel to Catalan’s hunger for a win is the fact that Dejdamrong knocked out his older brother, Rene, back in December 2014.
“It is one of my goals, to get back a win for him. I will play to my strengths, and I will even go head-to-head with his strengths. If I can submit him, it will be a satisfying win for me, for sure,” he claimed.
Although a victory over Dejdamrong would undoubtedly be a marquee moment in Catalan’s career, the night of 18 August holds even greater significance as Rene is competing as well and will open ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS against Chinese grappling prodigy Bu Huo You Ga.
This is the first time the siblings will be featured at a ONE Championship event together, and they plan to make it a night they will never forget.
“We have the same aim of winning. So making it two for two on this card will make this extra special,” he ended.