FIL-AUSSIE Reece McLaren has suffered another hurdle to his ascent in the flyweight division after losing by unanimous decision to Japanese Yuya Wakamatsu in the main supporting bout of “ONE on TNT III” on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
Wakamatsu immediately took the fight to the ground. McLaren, however, was very comfortable on his back and even attempted an omoplata submission. McLaren finished the first round strong with some vicious ground-and-pound and a rear-naked-choke attempt just right before the bell.
McLaren continued to try and take the fight to the ground, but Wakamatsu displayed impressive takedown defense.
McLaren’s takedown attempts took a toll on him as he looked gassed out in the third round. Wakamatsu started to land his strikes as McLaren was already a step slow. Wakamatsu pulled away near the end of the fight as he connected with his knees and punches to the head of a tired McLaren.
“It just wasn’t my night. It’s pretty heartbreaking,” said McLaren after the fight.
The No. 5 ranked flyweight McLaren, whose biological father is Filipino, dropped to 14-8, while Wakamatsu improved to 14-4.
Wakamatsu, the No. 4 rated flyweight, inches closer to his world title shot against ONE flyweight king Adriano Moraes, who’s coming off a huge knockout win over arguably the best flyweight in the world, Demetrious Johnson.(EKA)