Reece McLaren may have experienced a difficult loss last August, but he has reinvented himself as a flyweight, and looks better than ever.
In a bout where the strategy was always going to be clear, the Australian BJJ black belt met striking specialist Anatpong “Mak Mak” Bunrad on Friday, 10 November, at ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD.
Thailand’s Bunrad took the initiative early on inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, but he would succumb to the grappling prowess of McLaren, who picked up a submission victory with only seconds left in the opening stanza.
“Mak Mak” had success with hard shots at the start of the first round, in particular, some head kicks that almost landed flush. However, McLaren was able to brush them off and keep moving forward. As Bunrad grew in confidence and over-committed to his strikes, “Lightning” ducked under, and used it to his advantage to secure the takedown.
Bunrad utilized his always-improving ground game to defend from the guard and eventually stand up, but he was slammed to the mat again swiftly. This time, there would be no return.
Chaining his submissions together beautifully, McLaren attacked with an arm triangle before transitioning to a tight D’Arce choke. In the process, he smoothly closed off all of Bunrad’s exits, and froced the Thai to tap out at the 4:52 mark.
“Lightning” picks up a marquee victory in his flyweight debut, and becomes the first person ever to stop Bunrad. After being a world title challenger at bantamweight, he will hope to go one better, and become world champion in the new weight class. He moves his professional record to 10-5.