WATCH: Filipino Rene Catalan dominates in Myanmar for 6th win
MANILA, Philippines – Rene “D’Challenger” Catalan continued his MMA resurgence after a dominant first-round TKO victory at ONE Reign of Valor in Yangon, Myanmar on Friday, March 8.
The 40-year-old flyweight wrecked his Japanese foe Yoshitaka Naito after quickly securing a dominant hold and unloading a barrage of strikes to force the stoppage win.
Catalan nullified Naito’s grappling as he stuffed the former world champion’s relentless takedown attempts en route to his sixth straight win.
Just 5 years earlier, Catalan’s future with ONE looked bleak after starting out with two losses and one no contest before going on a tear with alternating decisions and stoppages.
The high-caliber action for the night did not stop there as Sweden’s Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam showed championship heart by defeating Kazakhstan’s Georgiy “Knight” Kichigin via a second-round TKO to retain the ONE Welterweight World Championship.
For the better part of the first two rounds, Kadestam was on the wrong end of a grappling clinic from Kichigin, as he was getting taken down and controlled on the ground.
In the dying minutes of the 2nd round however, Kadestam landed a thunderous elbow in the clinch that had the challenger dazed at the end of the round.
Visibly still hurt from the elbow, Kichigin was unable to answer the 3rd round bell and the victory was awarded to Kadestam.
Also featured for the night were Italian heavyweight Mauro Cerilli and Myanmar’s own Phoe Thaw, who both nabbed opening-round wins over their respective opponents.