If anyone thinks Rene “The Challenger” Catalan’s best days are already behind him the moment he hit 40, then they are truly mistaken.
The Makati City resident has hit peak form in ONE Championship
, as he has earned five straight victories after struggling at the beginning of his mixed martial arts career.
Now, his hard work will be rewarded in a big way.
He is set to face former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito of Japan at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR
, which takes place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on Friday, 8 March.
For the hard-hitting Filipino, his fascinating run is proof that in martial arts, age is trivial.
“Many believe that the younger generation of athletes have the advantage in terms of learning and adopting things quickly,” Catalan said.
“But for me, it’s all about your passion and your personal belief that you are better than anyone else.”
What sets Catalan apart from others is his mindset and overall approach to combat.
Instead of focusing on his limitations, he is pushing himself into overcoming them, and that’s particularly the reason why he remains so sharp at an advanced age.
“If you are motivated to showcase your talent at any given stage, regardless of your age, you will perform at your best,” he added.
Catalan will get a step-up in competition against Naito, but the Makati City resident is treating like another day in the office.
Although “Nobita” is an accomplished mixed martial artist and a world-class grappler, “The Challenger” will battle like a hungry upstart looking to make an impression.
“I know how good he is, but I’m also confident with my skills. I’ll be ready, and expect me to perform at my very best,” Cataland said.
“I’ll fight like a young and hungry warrior on that night. I always push myself to the limit. Each fight is a chance for me to prove that I'm one of the best.”