MMA: Pinoy fighters in COVID protocols, out of ONE: Heavy Hitters

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2022 11:26 AM | Updated as of Jan 13 2022 11:27 AM

Filipino fighters Jeremy
Filipino fighters Jeremy "The Jaguar" Miado and Robin "The Ilonggo" Catalan. Handout photos

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino fighters Jeremy "The Jaguar" Miado and Robin "The Ilonggo" Catalan will have to wait before they can make their return to the ONE Circle.

Both fighters have been removed from their upcoming bouts due to ONE Championship's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, effectively taking them out of ONE: Heavy Hitters this Friday, January 14, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Miado was set to take on Senzo Ikeda of Japan in the main card as he aimed to stretch his win streak to three. Catalan, on the other hand, was set to face Elipitua "The Magician" Siregar in the lead card in his first fight in a year.

Ikeda and Siregar will now face each other in a strawweight showdown on the main card.

It was a disappointing development for both fighters, who had been looking to start 2022 on a winning note.

Miado, who holds a 10-4 record, was coming off a superb second-round technical knockout victory over Miao Li Tao at ONE: NextGen last October, proving that his first win over his Chinese rival was no fluke.

He also showed great strides in that fight, largely due to his newfound training grounds with Marrok Force MMA in Bangkok, and one enough to merit consideration to be included in the strawweight list in the official ONE athlete rankings.

"I believe this happened for a reason. Yes, it's unfortunate that as an athlete, all of our efforts in training camp went to waste. But I believe God has His own plans," Miado said.

Catalan, for his part, was out for redemption after losing to Ryuto "Dragon Boy" Sawada after tapping to a rear naked choke in the first round of their match at ONE: Unbreakable III in January 2021.

At 10-7, Catalan looked at this match as an opportunity to bounce back, not just for himself but also his peers in Catalan Fighting System led by his older brother Rene.

"This is a sad news because I was really ready for this match and I was excited to head back to the ONE Circle and get the win," he said. "Unfortunately, we have to take this news and go back home, but we promise that once everything is okay, I'll go back to train to be able to fight again."

Also cancelled was the co-main event, wherein Roman Kryklia was set to defend his ONE light heavyweight kickboxing world championship against Dutch-Turkish challenger Murat "The Butcher" Aygun.

ONE: Heavy Hitters will still feature the showdown between ONE women's strawweight world champion Xiong Jing Nan and Japanese challenger Ayaka Miura in the main event.

Also on deck is the Muay Thai showdown between Saemapetch and Tawanchai and the lightweight clash between James Nakashima and Khabib Nurmagomedov protege Saygid Izagakhmaev.