Rene “The Challenger” Catalan, 39, of the Philippines remains bullish of the future successes of his brother Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan, 28, in the ring. The latter lost in his most recent bout in ONE Championship, which can be boon for his development as a fighter, according to the former.
On October 6, 2018, Robin lost to Hayato Suzuki, 32, of Japan at “ONE: Kingdom of Heroes” via rear-naked choke submission in the strawweight division in Bangkok, Thailand. In an interview at his Catalan Fighting System gym in Makati City, Metro Manila, Rene said, “It will be a big help to Robin because next time he’ll know what to do.”
At “ONE: Kingdom of Heroes,” Robin was able to fend off most of Suzuki’s ground-and-pound in the first round using his half guard. However, in the second round, the Japanese fighter’s relentless top game proved too much, forcing his Filipino opponent to expose his back.
Rene explained that their game plan of keeping the action on the feet did not work on account of Suzuki’s explosive takedowns. He said the team plans on patching the holes in their ground game by increasing their time on the mat and employing the aid of luta livre black belt Afonso “Cego” Celso dos Santos of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A Philippines-based Brazilian who teaches the grappling art of luta livre in Makati City, Cego said he started working with the Catalans “around one or two months” before the event. The Brazilian contender said, “Robin is really good.”
“He learns fast,” Cego said of Robin. “But he has too much to improve on in his ground game.”
Robin admitted that he needed to work on his grappling for his next bouts. On the other hand, he said the bout against Suzuki was “a good experience.”
Rene and Robin are multiple-time wushu sanda champions and Russian sambo champions. Because of their background, they favor stand-up battles over ground scrambles.
It was Rene who was originally set to compete against Suzuki at “ONE: Kingdom of Heroes.” Rene was injured his ankle owing to a training partner’s heel hook during the training camp so he was replaced by Robin.
Meanwhile, here is Rene’s most recent ONE Championship bout: