Can South Africa’s Bokang Masunyane eliminate Rene Catalan at ‘ONE: Big Bang’ in Singapore?

Ryuto Sawada, Kemp Cheng, Bokang Masunyane (©ONE Championship)

Ryuto Sawada, Kemp Cheng, Bokang Masunyane (©ONE Championship)

Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane, 26, of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa will fight Rene “The Challenger” Catalan, 41, of Iloilo City, Philippines will fight at “ONE: Big Bang.” The South African contender is an undefeated mixed martial artist with 7 wins and 0 loss while his Filipino opponent holds a professional MMA record of 6 wins, 3 losses and 1 No Contest.

Featuring four MMA matches and three kickboxing contests, “ONE: Big Bang” will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore on December 4, 2020. In the third bout of the evening, Masunyane and Catalan will battle it out in an MMA fight in the strawweight division.

Catalan currently ranked third among the MMA strawweight contenders of ONE Championship. Masunyane, who joined ONE Championship in 2019, is still unranked.

“I’ve always said ‘Give me the best and toughest guys’ and Catalan is top three in the division,” Masunyane said. “He has the experience and he is a veteran. I know that beating him will be a big achievement for me and put me closer to the world title.”

“As much as I respect everyone in my division, I think I am the toughest fight for anyone,” the South African MMA fighter continued. “I showed my will to win in my debut. Whoever fights against me is going to have it tough. Unfortunately for Rene Catalan, he is the guy that is in my path so I just need to eliminate him to get to the title shot.”


A pioneer of the Philippine martial arts scene, Catalan is the founder and head coach of Catalan Fighting Systems in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines where he trains and develops the next wave of Filipino martial arts talent. He is also a multiple-time Southeast Asian Games medalist in both Wushu and Sambo.

Masunyane acknowledges that Catalan has “some good skills” having watched “some of the videos to see what he is good at.” But the Johannesburg native said that he is never worried about any of his opponents and he does not feel threatened by anyone in the MMA strawweight division of ONE Championship.

“I feel like I am something special and I am going through the whole division to become the world champion,” Masunyane declared. “I respect him but he has never fought somebody like me and I am going to dominate him from the get-go until the end of the fight.”

Looking to put together a spectacular performance, Masunyane is confident that he can beat Catalan at “ONE: Big Bang.” The South African athlete said, “I’m hoping Catalan brings his A-game because he’s got a lot to work on in order to beat me.”

“There’s no way I see myself losing this fight,” Masunyane continued. “I’m not going to give up. I am not going to lose because I am meant to be a world champion. The new African king has arrived. Everyone better be ready for me.”

“ONE: Big Bang” will air on One Sports+ on December 4, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). It will be aired on One Sports on a same-day delay at 9:00 p.m. PHT and on TV5 on a next-day delay at 11:00 p.m. PHT.

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