One Championship returned for its seventh event in the Philippines at One: Spirit of Champions. In the Co-headliner Reece Mclaren of Australia caused a massive upset against Filipino-American hometown favourite Mark Striegl, with the PUMMA trained Aussie submitting his opponent by a rear-naked choke late in the third round.
One: Spirit of Champions took place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila and was headlined by a heavyweight championship bout between ex-UFC fighter Brandon Vera and former Canadian Football League player Paul Cheng.
Brandon Vera was dominant in dismantling Chen to capture the heavyweight crown. Vera quickly started the round with brutal Muay Thai kicks pushing Cheng back. Cheng tried to reciprocate Vera’s offence, but was dropped by a left hook. In the process of getting back to his feet Cheng was caught by a spectacular head-kick which earned 38-year-old Vera him the knock-out win.
The co-main battle between Mark Striegl and Reece Mclaren was a very explosive back and forth fight with Striegl noticably having the size advantage.
Striegl made his game plan known, going in for multiple takedowns in round one with Mclaren being able to scramble each time. Mclaren was keen to keep the fight on the feet showing his versatility and speed advantage. Late in the round Mclaren went for a flying Knee, but it was caught by Striegl as he went for a takedown. Mclaren was able to scramble back to his feet.
In round two, Mclaren seemed to be really hammering away at the leg kicks. Striegl’s legs looked visibly bruised. Striegl continued with the takedowns, but was Mclaren was able to sprawl to avoid them and when he was taken down; he wasn’t kept on the canvas too long. Mclaren attempted an elbow, but was stunned by a Striegl counter punch. After hitting the canvas, Mclaren also copped a soccer kick to the head. Striegl began attacking for a keylock submission, as a grapple momentarily ensued with Mclaren also struggling to recover from the knock down. The two fighters got back to their fight wher Mclaren continued attacking with leg kicks. The round ended with Mclaren attempting a superman punch and a head kick. Striegl ended the round looking visibly tired.
Round three started very similar to previous rounds with Mclaren continuing where he left off, peppering his opponent with leg kicks. Striegl went in for a takedown, which was stuffed by Mclaren. Mclaren then sunk in a guillotine choke, but Striegl worked his way out of it. Mclaren stayed in the top position by landing ground-and-pound and mixing it up with elbows. The Gold Coast based Aussie then switcjed his attack to a rear-naked choke submission, which he sunk in tight forcing Striegl to tap. The official time came at 3:33 of round three.
An impressive upset win for Mclaren and easily the biggest fight of his young career. The fight was originally scheduled to be between fellow Australian fighter Jordan Lucas vs Mark Striegl. Reece Mclaren took the opportunity in replacing Jordan Lucas on eight days’ notice, after Lucas was forced to pull out of the card, due to a bad cut sustained in training.
Also on the card, Local Filipino fighter Eugene Toquero dismantled Chinese fighter Li Wei Bin forcing a corner stoppage at the end of round two. Former Filipino American WBO boxing champion Ana Julaton lost a unanimous decision against undefeated Russian Irina Mazepa subsequently being outstruck in the contest. Singaporean phenom Angela Lee remained undefeated, securing a submission win over Ukraine’s Lena Tkhorevska following a tough back and forth battle.
Earlier on the night, fellow Aussie David Meak was dispatched quickly via (TKO) strikes in round one by highly touted Singaporean Christian Lee.