Reece McLaren vs Gianni Subba: Who’s the stronger ONE Championship flyweight contender?

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Reece “Lightning” McLaren, 26, of Australia and Gianni Subba, 25, of Malaysia are two of the top contenders of ONE Championship in the flyweight division. On March 9, 2018, the better fighter will emerge as they headline “ONE: Visions of Victory” at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in a flyweight world title eliminator.

“Reece McLaren comes out hard, and he looks to have good cardio,” Subba said of his “ONE: Visions of Victory” opponent. “But I like to compete against people who come forward. I like these types of matches. They are fun. I feel like a matador.”

Subba hopes that he can reach a milestone in his professional career and become the division’s next title challenger. He said, “I have been labelled a top Malaysian prospect for the last couple of years now. I want to have a performance that moves me into the contender spot.”

Even if Subba’s maiden main event stint is seen by many as a cause for celebration, the Malaysian martial artist knows that he will need to be at his best against McLaren, who is no stranger to facing elite opposition. The Filipino-Australian fighter owns a commendable professional record of 10-5 with eight of those wins coming by spectacular finish.

McLaren had a hot start in ONE Championship. He rattled off a pair of victories against top bantamweights Mark Striegl and Muin Gafurov before challenging division kingpin Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in December 2016.

Ultimately, McLaren lost the contest by a razor-thin split decision. However, it was by far the toughest test of Fernandes’ legendary run to date, proving the Filipino-Australian fighter’s exquisite talent.

Following a tough loss to Fernandes, McLaren dropped down a weight class and immediately made an impact in the flyweight division. In November 2017, McLaren masterfully submitted the highly-regarded Anatpong “Mak Mak” Bunrad in the first round via D’Arce choke and became the first person ever to finish the Thai competitor.

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