Robin Catalan has endured a very traumatic period in his life. After being plagued by injuries and financial hardship for much of 2016, the 26-year-old known as “The Ilonggo” is focused on making this year a positive one.
The Filipino will make his long-awaited return to the cage on Friday Night, 21 April, when he battles his heavy-handed countryman Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY. This exciting strawweight contest will kick off the preliminary card, which airs live from the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila.
For Catalan, this is an opportunity to restart his mixed martial arts career on proper footing, and climb his way up the division’s ranks.
“I am very eager and definitely very hungry to fight again,” the 26-year-old explains. “I want to win this fight and work my way up to a title shot.”
Catalan, a wushu expert and former IFMA World Muay Thai Champion, last appeared inside the ONE Championship cage back in March 2016, where he was submitted by surging contender Alex “Little Rock” Silva at ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS. That ended the Iloilo City native’s four-fight win streak, and dropped his professional record to 5-2.
The year only got rougher for Catalan, as he was sidelined with a slew of nagging injuries. Not only has that affected his career, but it also led to monetary issues.
“I have spent the past year recovering from injuries and have focused my training in areas where I still need improvements on,” he details. “The main challenge for me has been mostly financial. Being out of competition made it hard for me to provide financial support for my family and team.”
Fortunately, “The Ilonggo” is all healed up, and plans to use this forthcoming bout with Miado as a launchpad to greater things. His opponent, however, has the same intentions.
Miado made a name for himself as a promising amateur boxer in the Bicol Region before relocating to Manila to train at Sucuri MMA and starting a full-fledged transition into MMA. Since making his pro debut in January 2016, the 24-year-old has accumulated a perfect 6-0 record and captured the Blaze FC Strawweight Championship.
Now, “The Jaguar” takes the gargantuan leap from the regional scene to the major leagues with ONE Championship, where he will be facing world-class talent in every bout moving forward.
That starts with Catalan, a man who is exhilarated to resume his career and display some of the new moves he has learned.
“I am definitely happy to fight this guy,” he says of Miado. “The difference [on fight night] will be how I apply my new skills.”