Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva submitted Rene “The Challenger” Catalan via armbar at ONE: NEXTGEN III on Friday, 26 November – more than eight years after he first forced the Filipino striker to tap in the same manner.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard finished Friday’s rematch in less than four minutes, slightly faster than his submission in their 2013 meeting.
It was another trademark win for “Little Rock,” who came into this strawweight mixed martial arts showdown with five career armbar victories.
Catalan opened this clash at the Singapore Indoor Stadium by attacking Silva’s lead leg before loading up a one-two combo. However, the Filipino warrior got caught in the back of the head during that exchange, which briefly halted the contest.
After the restart, the Catalan Fighting System representative went for another jab-cross combination. But Silva did not trade strikes with the Wushu World Champion. Instead, he ducked underneath his punches, shot for his rival’s lead leg, and scored a single-leg takedown.
From there, the former ONE Strawweight World Champion tried to find a dominant spot, trapping Catalan’s legs while slowly crawling his way into mount. The Filipino did not allow “Little Rock” to get there, though, so the clever Brazilian instead moved into side control.
Silva continued to frustrate Catalan on the canvas, unloading three knees to the ribs as he advanced to the north-south position. But just as Silva caught “The Challenger” with a heavy knee to the head, the Filipino veteran miraculously escaped and gained top control.
Despite being in a better position, Catalan did not get a break from Silva’s grappling prowess. If anything, it made the 39-year-old Brazilian more determined to lock in a submission – and about 40 seconds later, he did just that.
From guard, “Little Rock” secured his rival’s right arm, stepped over his head, and rolled into a tight armbar, which forced Catalan to tap at 3:35 of the opening round.
By scoring his 11th career victory in impressive fashion, Silva secured his spot as the #4-ranked strawweight contender.
The Brazilian also showed that he is still a dangerous threat in the division, which is ruled by reigning king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.