In the vocabulary of Rene “The Challenger” Catalan, there’s no such thing as an ‘off-season.’
Nearly five weeks removed from the biggest win of his mixed martial arts career, the 40-year-old will fly to Indonesia to work with the Surabaya Jawal Time Wushu Team for the next month.
Catalan is still fresh off his first-round stoppage victory over former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR in Yangon, Myanmar.
However, there’s no stopping the hard-hitting Ilonggo from working on his craft.
“This is a part of my preparation for my next fight. We went to Indonesia to improve on my wushu sanda skills, and other little things that I need to develop, like the ground game,” said Catalan, who will be working under the tutelage of head coach Agus Suprayitno.
“I would also like to work on my conditioning to maximize my stamina and endurance.”
Such gesture is a testament to how Catalan is committed to working on his dream of becoming a World Champion and it may not be long until he gets his shot, especially with the way that he outclassed Naito.
Though his next bout is not scheduled yet, here he is — already spending time away from home and resources just to make sure he is well ahead of the game.
“I have always dreamt of being a World Champion and for me to get there, I have to always be ready,” he said.
Now riding a six-bout win steak, Catalan could very well be the hottest athlete in ONE Championship’s strawweight division after a rough start in his tenure.
Despite all of that, “The Challenger” believes he still has a lot to work on, and he vows to always fine-tune his skills.
“I’ve been training everywhere, left and right. I know that I still have a lot to work and to improve on if I truly want to stay ahead of the game,” he said.
“I admit that there are still a lot of things that I need to work on — that’s why I went here to Indonesia to truly focus on it.”