Reece “Lightning” McLaren bounced back after losing to Kevin Belingon by scoring a slick submission victory at ONE: Legends of the World in Manila, Phillippines against Anatpong Bunrad.
Reece McLaren vs. Anatpong Bunrad
Bunrad started the contest by testing McLaren’s defense early and often. McLaren was forced to mix up his defensive techniques as kicks came blazing toward him from all angles. The Australian leaned back, shifted left and right and blocked the kicks with his hands. After feeling some of Bunrad’s best shots, McLaren attempted an unsuccessful takedown.
Bunrad re-adjusted and slammed a high kick into McLaren’s head. The powerful kick only made the young Australian feel an increased sense of urgency, however. Bunrad’s contest-changing mistake came just seconds after his best moment of the bout. The Thai martial artist connected with a perfectly timed right-hand counter punch. He immediately tried to follow-up with another heavy shot, but it allowed McLaren to shoot in underneath the punches and secure under hooks before taking his opponent down to the mat.
The degree of difficulty quickly increased for the Thai martial artist once the contest hit the ground. Bunrad now had to worry about McLaren’s expert jiu-jitsu abilities. For a while, it looked as though Bunrad was going to be able to defend the submission grappling aspect of McLaren’s game. He stopped McLaren from passing over his butterfly guard and managed to create separation after bringing his feet to his opponent’s hips before the two returned to their feet.
The action returned to the mat almost immediately after “Lightning” picks up Bunrad and slams him into the canvas. This time, Bunrad couldn’t deny McLaren’s relentless submission attempts. After some gorgeous transitioning on the canvas, McLaren snatched the neck of Bunrad. McLaren continually re-adjusted his grips before moving into the full mount position to finish the fight with seconds remaining in the first round.
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.