Rene “The Challenger” Catalan, 39, will no longer compete at “ONE: Kingdom of Heroes” at Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on October 6, 2018. He will be replaced by his younger brother Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan, 30, as the opponent of Hayato Suzuki, 32, of Misato, Saitama, Japan in a mixed martial arts bout in the strawweight division.
Due to an ankle injury, Rene was forced to pull out of the crucial matchup. While being sidelined was a disappointing blow for him, he believes that his younger brother is the perfect person to take his place against a top-level competitor like Suzuki.
Rene is regarded as one of the top contenders in the talent-rich strawweight division and is currently on fire with a five-match winning streak. He said of Robin, “I’m confident that he will give Hayato Suzuki a good challenge, and of course, give the fans in Thailand an exciting performance.”
For Robin, stepping in to face Suzuki is a golden opportunity to follow in his older brother’s footsteps. Robin is representing Catalan Fighting System Philippines, which was founded by Rene.
“I see my brother succeed and it excites me and at the same time it motivates me,” Robin said. “By taking his place against a competitor like Suzuki, it opens up an opportunity for me to also add a big name to my winning streak.”
Robin is on a two-bout winning streak of his own, with both wins coming by way of spectacular stoppages. For him, being tapped as a replacement on short notice is no big deal as he is always in shape and ready for whenever he gets the call to enter the ring or cage.
“I didn’t have any hesitations because I’m always prepared to compete,” Robin said. “Even if I’m just my brother’s replacement, I have never stopped training. After my last win against Adrian Mattheis, I kept working to improve even more.”
Meanwhile, watch Rene’s most recent ONE Championship bout here: