February 2, 2023

Filipino mixed martial arts fighters remain on the losing streak, as two more fighters from the Catalan Fighting System both suffered first-round stoppage via knockout and technical KO in ONE: Big Bang in Singapore on Dec. 4.

Former ONE strawweight world title contender Rene Catalan, who previously ranked number three in the division, suffered a devastating head kick KO from Bokang Masunyane of South Africa.

The non-rated South African fighter just needed 37 seconds from the opening bell to put Catalan in the canvass with an unexpected head kick against the wushu specialist.

Masunyane’s 37-second win was the second-fastest victory in strawweight history, just behind Adrian Mattheis’ 22-second KO of Rustam Hutajulu back in 2016. 

By beating Catalan, the undefeated South African pushed his record to eight wins against no loss and made his case to enter the strawweight division’s top-five ranking.

Munsayane even called on reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio of Team Lakay in a post-fight interview.

“I’m the best in my division. I’d like to challenge the champion,” Masunyane said. 

Meanwhile, Indian wrestling champion Ritu Phogat stopped Jomary Torres with an unanswered salvo of ground strikes to get a first-round TKO victory.

Phogat’s relentless pressure began to pay off as she broke through with some hard hammer fists. Torres tried to bridge out to escape, but the Indian wrestler quickly passed to side control to set up the finishing sequence.

She used her right leg to trap the Filipina’s left arm and secured a dominant crucifix position. From there, Phogat upped the intensity with her strikes and drilled her foe with punches and elbows.

With Torres unable to use her arms to defend herself, Phogat let rip with a stream of elbows until the referee stepped in to wave off the bout at 3:55 of round one. – Harley F. Palangchao