HOMEGROWN fighters, Rene Catalan and Vaughn Donayre, will carry the Philippine colors when they see action in the undercard of ONE: Quest for Power at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia today January 14.
Catalan squares off against strawweight prospect Adrian Matheis, while Donayre takes on Dutch-Indonesian kickboxer Vincent Latoel in a three-round lightweight bout
Catalan, a highly-decorated Wushu practitioner, seeks to continue his winning ways inside the ONE Championship cage after picking up an impressive decision win over China’s Zhang You Liang last September.
“This is my chance to establish my first winning streak in ONE Championship. It’s not impossible. That’s why I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning,” Catalan said.
According to the 38-year-old Catalan, he is inspired to win against his Indonesian foe because it gives him another chance to represent the Philippines on a global platform like ONE Championship.
“I am inspired to win the fight because I am representing the Philippines. It is always an honor to fight for my country. My goal in this fight is to win and bring pride to my nation,” Catalan stated.
Meanwhile, Donayre is keen on breaking his four-fight losing skid in Asia’s largest MMA organization at the expense of Latoel.
Donayre, who is no stranger to international combat competitions, vows that he will not let the Filipino MMA fans down in his marquee match-up against Latoel.
“They were always there by my side in my tough times. I will make sure to win this one for them,” Donayre said.
Also competing at the same card is Igor Subora, a Ukrainian fighter who started his professional MMA stint in the Philippines.
Subora feels privileged to represent the Philippines in ONE Championship as he considers the country as his second home.
“The Philippines is my home away from home. It’s a beautiful country. I met my wife here. I also started my MMA career in this country. I am grateful for everything that this country has given me. To me, it’s an honor representing the Philippines in my international fights,” Subora said.
The year 2016 was monumental for the growing Philippine mixed martial arts (MMA) scene as Filipino fighters glimmered like diamonds atop an international stage.
Over the course of 14 events in ONE Championship’s 2016 calendar, Filipino MMA competitors tallied 24 victories, including Brandon Vera’s successful heavyweight title defense and Eduard Folayang’s stunning championship-winning performance.
With the triumphant turnout of 2016, 2017 brings in a whole new set of good opportunities for local talents.