• Khim Dhima (L) and Rene Catalan (R) square off during the weigh-ins for ONE: Total Domination last Oct. 17, 2013.

Khim Dhima (L) and Rene Catalan (R) square off during the weigh-ins for ONE: Total Domination last Oct. 17, 2013. (Photo : Getty Images/Suhaimi Abdullah)

Filipino athletes have been making quite a lot of noise in their respective disciplines over the past couple of years. It is no longer just Manny Pacquiao or Hidilyn Diaz who bring pride to their country through their achievements in sport.

One lesser-known Filipino athlete, who in fact is highly decorated in his chosen discipline, is 2006 Asian Games Wushu gold medalist Rene Catala. Now, Catala has made the transition into one of the most popular sport across the globe: mixed martial arts (MMA). While most of his contemporaries have backgrounds as boxers, Olympic wrestlers, or even jiu jitsu practitioners, Catalan has quite the unique skillset with Wushu.

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Catalan currently fights in ONE Championship, which is one of the most distinguished and fastest growing MMA organizations. He made his debut for ONE Championship back in Apr. 5, 2013 with a loss to Alex Silva. He revealed that he was grief-stricken during his preparations since his wife passed away prior to the fight, according to Yahoo Singapore.

Catalan then endured a further turbulent start to his career after his second match resulted in a no contest. His third match resulted in a second loss added to his record back in 2014.

Catalan seemingly disappeared from the fight game for almost two years. However, he then made his fourth professional appearance in the sport when he took on Zhang You Liang at ONE: Unbreakable Warriors back in Sep. 2, 2016. Now, he believes that his winning ways will continue in the sport.

"This is my chance to establish my first winning streak in ONE Championship. It's not impossible. That's why I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning," Catalan told ABS-CBN in an interview. He added that he is proud to be representing the Philippines in MMA.

Catalan's next fight in ONE Championship may be a tough ask, as he faces the organization's Indonesian straw weight tournament champion in Adrian Matheis. Their matchup will take place at ONE: Quest for Power in Jakarta, Indonesia on Jan. 14, 2017. He will be looking to utilize his superior speed and agility, as well as the improvements to his ground game, against the Indonesian fighter.

Watch Rene Catalan take on Khim Dima below: