MANILA, Philippines – Short-notice replacement Reece McLaren pulled off a major upset in his ONE Championship debut by submitting Filipino-American fighter Mark Striegl in the co-headliner of the “Spirit of Champions” card on Friday, December 11 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
McLaren, who replaced fellow Australian Jordan Lucas on two weeks notice, compelled Striegl to wave the white flag at the 3:33 mark of the final frame with a rear-naked choke.
(LIVE BLOG: ONE: Spirit of Champions)
The 24-year-old Australian improves his professional record 8-4 and spoils the championship aspirations of Striegl, who downgrades to 14-2.
Striegl imposed his will in the initial proceedings of the first frame, where he swiftly scored a single-leg takedown and secured a strong top control.
However, McLaren did not let Striegl to pass the half guard as his Fil-Am foe was fishing for a scarf-hold arm lock
As both men returned to their feet, Striegl surged like a wild ox as he dragged his opponent to the matt with a double-leg takedown.
Showing that he was in good condition, McLaren was able to catch Striegl with crushing leg kicks and a solid knee to the head as “Mugen” tried to negate the distance of his backpedalling counterpart.
(READ: Mark Striegl on fighting in UFC: ‘Never say never’)
Sporting a swelling right leg in the second frame due to McLaren’s leg kicks, Striegl converted another double-leg takedown
Although McLaren was successful stuffing takedown attempts, Striegl found a loophole to land a clean right cross that dropped his opponent to the mat and clobbered two follow-up soccer kicks.
It turned out to be unfortunate situation for Striegl, who failed to punctuate the momentum with a strong finish.
As Striegl appeared to lose his steam at the start of the third round, McLaren wildly pounced on Striegl as he hurled two left hooks that completely rocked the Fil-Am superstar.
Striegl was in for desperation mode as he tried to put McLaren back to the canvas with a double-leg takedown, but his opponent did not have difficulties stopping it.
When both men reached the mat, McLaren rained down with elbows and punched before grabbing the back for a fight-ending submission.
With the setback to McLaren, it derailed Striegl’s goal to have a date with ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes.
It is also the second submission defeat of Striegl, who suffered his first prizefighting loss at the hands of Jang Yong Kim in September 2013 for the vacant Pacific Xtreme Combat featherweight belt.
(WATCH: MMA fighter Mark Striegl ranks his 5 best wins)
Meanwhile, Striegl’s fellow Filipino fighter Eugene Toquero (8-2) returned to his winning ways by attaining a stoppage victory over Chinese flyweight Li Wei Bin (3-1) on the main card of ONE: Spirit of Champions.
Toquero,who was coming off a disappoint defeat to Asuka Mikami this past October, gave the Philippines its first win of the night punishing Li with his signature striking and mauling him on the ground with brutal blows to force his Chinese foe to quit on his stool before the third round.
In addition, Toquero handed Li the first loss in his previously-unblemished record. – Rappler.com
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