The Philippines has two representatives at “ONE: Battle for the Heavens” at the Guangzhou Tianhe Gymnasium in Guangzhou, China on July 7, 2018, namely Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan, 27, of Iloilo and Gina “Conviction” Iniong, 29, of Baguio City. Both are on the preliminary card.
“ONE: Battle for the Heavens” will kick off with a strawweight bout between Catalan and Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis, 25, of Indonesia. In the fourth bout of the evening, Iniong and Istela Nunes, 25, of Brazil will compete in the women’s atomweight division.
Iniong is a six-time Philippine National Wushu Champion and a member of the famed Team Lakay. On the other hand, Catalan is a Muay Thai World Champion training under Catalan Fighting Systems in Manila.
Catalan was born in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, in the Visayan province of the Philippines, which is known for producing world-class boxers. He started training in martial arts in 2006 with hopes of following in the footsteps of his older brother Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan, 39, a multiple-time Wushu world champion.
Aside from Rene, Robin has another martial artist brother, Rabin “The Rock” Catalan, 32. The three siblings are all ONE Championship athletes.
Robin would go on to win numerous tournaments in both Wushu and Muay Thai, including the Philippines National Wushu Sanda Championship in 2007 and 2008 and the IFMA World Muay Thai Championship in 2011. Inevitably, just like his brothers, Robin turned his attention to mixed martial arts.
Both Iniong and Robin are competing in ONE Championship for the fifth time. If they both win at “ONE: Battle for the Heavens,” it will be Iniong’s fourth win and Robin’s third victory in the promotion.
In the main event of “ONE: Battle for the Heavens,” Yodcherry Sityodtong, 19, of Thailand and Kai Ting “Killer Bee” Chuang, 23, of Chinese Taipei will compete for the inaugural ONE Super Series Kickboxing Atomweight World Championship. ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong stated, “World-class martial arts makes a triumphant return to the beautiful city of Guangzhou with another spectacular event.”
Meanwhile, watch one of Iniong’s previous bouts here: