By Adrian Stewart Co
Ilonggo mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Robin Catalan will have to wait for his comeback fight with ONE Championship after he tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Iloilo City-native Catalan was found to be infected with the deadly virus following his swab test, according to a report by International Business Times’ Nissi Icasiano.
Catalan, who has 9-7 win-loss MMA record, was supposed to fight Indonesian Elipitua Siregar (4-1) in the ONE: Heavy Hitters card scheduled tonight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The development was a dampener for Catalan, who made his way back from a hip injury following his first round tap out defeat to Ryuto Sawada in the ONE: UNBREAKABLE 3 card in February 2021.
“It was really a bad timing that I hurt my hip before my fight with Sawada,” Catalan said in an interview earlier this week. “I am really eager to get back stronger in the octagon to fight again.”
“I’ve kept on training and waiting for more than a year before I got the call for this next fight (against Siregar).”I am hungry like a lion. I know that this time, it will be different and I want to get the win.”
With the latest development, however, Catalan looks to recover from his COVID-19 infection in hopes of landing a fight in the future and be considered as one of the legitimate threats in the ONE strawweight division.
“My goal this year is to be No. 1 [in the ONE Athlete Rankings] to have a chance to fight for the title belt. It starts in this match and I can say that this will be like a war of lions,” Catalan said.
Meanwhile, Filipino MMA fighter Jeremy Miado’s scheduled match against Japanese Senzo Ikeda was also cancelled as the former was also tested positive for COVID-19.
With this, the ONE Championship has instead scheduled a match between Sinegar and Ikeda in the undercard of the ONE: Heavy Hitters tonight./ASC, WDJ