Robin Catalan Gunning To Be The First To Knock Out Stefer Rahardian

Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan enjoyed the best year of his ONE Championship career in 2018, going 2-1 in three bouts. 

“I think my match against Adrian Mattheis is my favorite win in ONE Championship,” he recalls.

“It was by submission, and it was my first stoppage in ONE.”

Robin Catalan submits Adrian Mattheis with a heel hook at 2:10 of Round 2, kicking off ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS in style!

Robin Catalan submits Adrian Mattheis with a heel hook at 2:10 of Round 2, kicking off ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS in style! Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ???? | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, July 7, 2018

Despite the impressive heel hook win on the ground, the IFMA Muay Thai World Champion believes there is still room for improvement on that aspect of his game. 

“I still want to improve my grappling and wrestling,” says the Catalan Fighting Systems (CFS) product.

“Those are areas that we, as a team, feel that we lack, so that would be our focus for the coming year.”

CFS, with four-time Wushu World Champion Rene Catalan at the helm, is best known for their fierce striking game. But if there is any lesson to be taken from fellow Filipino stable Team Lakay, it’s that improving their ground game could be a key factor in propelling them to the next level.

With a renewed focus on evolution, “The Ilonggo” would like to build on his success in 2019. 

“I’d like to have more wins,” he says.

“Of course, a World Title shot would be great, but I think I need to work on getting more wins to earn it.”

Catalan also hopes to be more active than ever before, as he looks forward to a healthy 2019.

“As long as I’m healthy, I can compete every month,” he said.

“Maybe once every two months is alright as well, but it all really depends on not getting injuries.”

On 19 January, his first test comes in the form of Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY inside the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Indonesian flyweight had a blistering start to his mixed martial arts career, going undefeated in his first nine matches, submitting five of his opponents in the process.

Rahardian dropped down from flyweight to make a winning strawweight debut. However, in his second match in the division, his undefeated record was blemished in an exciting three-round encounter against a surging Filipino athlete – Rene Catalan.

Thus, the younger Catalan is quite familiar with his upcoming opponent, and seeks to use that to his advantage.

“I think he has a good ground game,” he says.

“I think I’ll study his match against my brother to see how Rene was able to defeat him, and maybe add some of the things I have been working on as well.”

“I think he’s not as good in striking as he is on the ground.”  

Competing in front of a home crowd could be a double-edged sword, something that Catalan recognizes heading into the contest.

“I think there’s equal amount of pressure for the both of us,” he said.

“He’s fighting in front of his home crowd who expect a win, while I’m going to be against a hostile crowd.”

However, the fact remains that the Indonesian warrior has never been finished in his career, and has the grappling advantage in an area where Catalan is still improving on.

That said, the Filipino warrior has supreme confidence in his team as he hopes to achieve a feat no man has done before.

“I just need to follow the game plan that we have,” he claims.

“I’m hoping to get a knockout this time around.”

Jakarta | 19 January | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: