Filipino strawweight Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan has a formidable opponent who will be standing across from him on Saturday, March 24 as he makes his return to the ONE Championship cage.
Catalan is slated to duke it out with Thai wrestling champion Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai on the undercard of ONE: IRON WILL, which takes place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Kongsrichai is no stranger to Catalan as the Thai prospect had shared the cage with several Filipino combatants in the past, including his brother Rabin Catalan.
The 26-year-old native of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand notched a first-round technical knockout victory over Rabin last December.
Catalan shot down the notion that he is out to avenge his brother’s defeat at the hands of Kongsrichai as both men are set to collide at ONE: IRON WILL.
According to the Makati City-based Wushu practitioner, he does not hold any personal grudge against Kongsrichai, who is currently riding high on a two-bout winning streak.
“For me, it’s me pure business. This is my career. This is my work. I will fight to get the victory,” Catalan said. “I will just do my job and also do my best against him.”
Although he reiterated that there is no bad blood between him and his Thai counterpart, Catalan stressed that a decisive triumph over Kongsrichai will put a gleeful smile on his brother’s face.
“I believe my family will be proud of me if I get the win on Saturday. But again, this is nothing personal,” he quipped.
Catalan knows that he is going up against a rising talent with impeccable grappling and powerful striking, but he is up for the challenge.
“I know that he is a strong opponent, and I will do everything in my power to try and beat him,” he stated. “This will be a good match because win or lose, I am going to give it everything I’ve got and more.”
Coming off a second-round stoppage setback to former world champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in August 2017, Catalan seeks to place himself back on the winning track when he steps into enemy territory on Saturday.
“My confidence level is great, and I am so excited about this bout because I really want to win,” he shared. “I think that between both of our skills, we will definitely put on an exciting and explosive match for the audience and viewers.”
Catalan stressed that he is not concerned about Kongsrichai’s hometown advantage as his focus is on showcasing the weapons that he has learned and added to his arsenal with the rest of the brothers at Catalan Fighting System.
“The difference will be how I apply my new skills against him. I am definitely happy to face a hometown hero like him. It challenges me,” he bared.
“I am very eager and definitely very hungry to compete again, I want to win this bout and work my way up to face the best in this division,” Catalan concluded.