Two Filipino MMA fighters to face Thai opponents

SINGAPORE – Two Filipino mixed martial arts fighters are slated to lock horns with their respective opponents on March 24 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Filipino strawweight Jeremy Miado will face former ONE Straweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke; his colleague Robin Catalan will slug it out with Thai wrestling champion Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai on the undercard of ONE: IRON WILL

After dropping his first two assignments under the ONE Championship umbrella last year, Miado is confident that his upcoming matchup will be different.

He is expected to have his hands full as he shares the cage with Amnuaysirichoke, a three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion with over 25 years of competitive experience.

Having a professional record of 8-3 in mixed martial arts, Amnuaysirichoke is known as a technical striker with quick hands and lightning feet, employing some of the most unique and creative combinations.

Even though Miado is a striker by nature with his extensive boxing background, his opponent is a living legend in the discipline known as “The art of eight limbs.”

“I know he is much more experienced than me, and I look up to that. I also admire his striking skills. It is one of the things we are cautious about,” he said.

“I will play to my strengths, and I will even go head-to-head with his strengths. If I can submit him, it will surely be a satisfying win for me,” Miado added.

The 25-year-old Marikina City resident might have a tall order in front of him in Amnuaysirichoke, but he remains unperturbed with the fact that the most challenging bout in his young career is ahead of him.

“I don’t see it as a problem. I want to know my potential in this sport. That’s why I am happy to be in this bout against a talented competitor and a former champion like him,” Miado stated.

Miado views his three-round strawweight encounter with Amnuaysirichoke as an opportunity to see where his talent truly stands on a global stage like ONE Championship.

“To be able to compete against a Muay Thai legend, it will only be good for my experience,” he quipped.

“My opponent is an outstanding striker, but I am focusing on my ground [skills]. I am a striker, but I know what his skills are,” Miado further explained. “I think his game plan will be to use his striking to overwhelm me. I am practicing my defense in the stand-up. But he needs to watch out for my takedown attempts.”

Miado vows to be in his peak form, asserting that a victory over Amnuaysirichoke will undoubtedly be a marquee moment in his career.

“I feel really strong, and at my peak. I cannot wait to get in there and show everybody the real me. I was not able to do so in my last two bouts, but this time I will make sure that everyone knows who I am when it is all said and done,” he declared.

Purely business for Robin Catalan

Meanwhile, Filipino strawweight Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan is slated to duke it out with Thai wrestling champion Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai.

Kongsrichai is no stranger to Catalan as the Thai prospect had shared the cage with several Filipino combatants in the past, including his brother Rabin Catalan. The 26-year-old native of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand notched a first-round technical knockout victory over Rabin last December.

Catalan shot down the notion that he is out to avenge his brother’s defeat at the hands of Kongsrichai.

According to the Makati City-based Wushu practitioner, Catalan does not hold any personal grudge against Kongsrichai, who is currently riding high on a two-bout winning streak.

“For me, it’s pure business. This is my career. This is my work. I will fight to get the victory,” Catalan said. “I will just do my job and also do my best to beat him.”

Although he reiterated that there is no bad blood between him and his Thai counterpart, Catalan stressed that a decisive triumph over Kongsrichai will put a gleeful smile on his brother’s face.

“I believe my family will be proud of me if I get the win on Saturday. But again, this is nothing personal,” he quipped.

Catalan knows that he is going up against a rising talent with impeccable grappling and powerful striking, but he is up for the challenge.

“I know that he is a strong opponent, and I will do everything in my power to try and beat him,” he stated. “This will be a good match because win or lose, I am going to give it everything I’ve got and more.”

Coming off a second-round stoppage setback to former world champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in August 2017, Catalan seeks to place himself back on the winning track when he steps into enemy territory on Saturday.

“My confidence level is great, and I am so excited about this bout because I really want to win,” he shared. “I think that between both of our skills, we will definitely put on an exciting and explosive match for the audience and viewers.”

Catalan stressed that he is not concerned about Kongsrichai’s hometown advantage as his focus is on showcasing the weapons that he has learned and added to his arsenal with the rest of the brothers at Catalan Fighting System.

“The difference will be how I apply my new skills against him. I am definitely happy to face a hometown hero like him. It challenges me,” he bared.

“I am very eager and definitely very hungry to compete again, I want to win this bout and work my way up to face the best in this division,” Catalan concluded.

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