ONE Championship flyweight contender Reece “Lightning” McLaren is no stranger to exciting finishes.
Ever since joining the promotion in December 2015, the Filipino-Australian has earned several highlight-reel victories that have brought the crowd to its feet.
McLaren will look to thrill the world once again when he returns to action at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS on Saturday, 7 July.
He is scheduled to face DEEP Flyweight Champion Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in a pivotal clash in the flyweight division.
Ahead of their contest at the Guangzhou Tianhe Gymnasium in China, take a look at some of McLaren’s best finishes to date.
A Memorable First Impression
The odds were stacked against McLaren when he made his promotional debut against Filipino star Mark “Mugen” Striegl at ONE: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS in December 2015.
The Aussie took the bout on short notice, so he did not have much time to prepare for the bantamweight match-up, but he did not hesitate to accept the call and face a local hero in Manila.
While Striegl was more successful in the grappling exchanges during the opening two stanzas, McLaren proved to be the superior striker, as he constantly punished the Filipino’s legs with fierce kicks.
By the third round, however, it was clear those strikes had taken their toll. “Lightning” was moving far more quickly, and he began to anticipate his foe’s advances to get the edge in all areas.
He made Striegl pay 30 seconds into the final frame. When “Mugen” went for a takedown, McLaren sprawled and jumped on a guillotine choke. Striegl somehow managed to scramble out of the submission, but the Australian remained on top, secured the full mount, and unleashed a barrage of ground and pound.
That softened Striegl up, but he proved to be too tough to succumb to strikes. The end came when “Mugen” tried to roll out of the position. McLaren stayed glued to his opponent and locked up an inescapable rear-naked choke to get the tap.
A Masterful Flyweight Debut
In November, McLaren made the decision to drop down a division in search of World Title glory.
At ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD, he made his flyweight debut in Manila against well-rounded mixed martial artist Anatpong “Mak Mak” Bunrad.
The Thai athlete is a tough striker who had never been finished, but “Lightning” was determined to change that.
During the opening minutes of the bout, McLaren was more than happy to exchange punches with Bunrad, and showed how comfortable he was evading kicks and exchanging rapid-fire boxing.
He baited “Mak Mak” into committing to his punches, which provided the perfect opening for the Filipino-Aussie to shoot for takedowns. Though he was successful with his first attempt, it was the second that proved to be decisive, as “Mak Mak” was elevated and slammed to the canvas.
From there, it was all McLaren, as he quickly passed his rival’s defense and started chaining submission attempts together. He began with an arm-triangle choke attempt, before beautifully transitioning to a D’Arce choke to force the tapout with just eight seconds remaining in the first stanza.
Submitting A Malaysian Hero
When then-ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes was ruled out of his main-event title tilt with McLaren at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY in March, “Lightning” did not blink. Instead, he simply asked for a new opponent.
McLaren would face Gianni Subba on short notice in his rival’s hometown of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and he thrived against the local hero in an arena full of his supporters.
Following four minutes of action on the feet, McLaren applied his world-class grappling. He planted Subba on the mat, passed his adversary’s guard, moved into mount, and landed devastating punches and elbows from the top.
Subba survived the onslaught, and tried to deploy his striking once again in round two. Although the Malaysian was able to defend takedown attempts and connect with some strikes, “Lightning” eventually struck again.
Three minutes into the frame, McLaren scored with a big takedown and landed straight into mount. His move for an arm-triangle choke came instantly after that, and he secured the hold to force the inevitable tap in short order.
Guangzhou | 7 July | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast