ONE's fifth-ranked flyweight contender Reece "Lightning" McLaren is coming off arguably the most impressive outing of his 24-fight career.
The Australian Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt battered Windson Ramos with powerful strikes for two full rounds at ONE 162, forcing the Brazilian to call it quits before the final frame.
That stunning performance did not go unnoticed, as McLaren continued to showcase a new aspect of his mixed martial arts game.
Notably, ONE flyweight world champion and MMA legend Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson couldn’t help but admire the 31-year-old’s marked improvements in the standup department.
The divisional king later reflected on "Lightning’s" development and credited his work under recently retired muay Thai icon John Wayne Parr back home in Australia:
"Reece McLaren, he’s right there," Johnson said. "He’s a great athlete. He was in the ONE flyweight world grand prix and came up short against (current #2 contender) Kairat Akhmetov. Yeah, his striking was good, man.
"I mean, I think if you spend enough time doing something, and working with John Wayne Parr, who has been a legend of striking, you’re only going to get better, right? He looked great."
As Johnson astutely observed, McLaren’s victory at ONE 162 was special because of how he got it done. Despite being known as a dangerous grappler and submission hunter, McLaren utterly dominated Ramos on the feet.
Now the winner of two straight fights and the owner of a venomous kickboxing attack, "Lightning" has put the reigning world champion and every other flyweight contender on notice.
For his part, "Mighty Mouse" is keeping a close eye on those hungry contenders – a group that includes rival Adriano Moraes and former titleholder Akhmetov. Moreover, he’ll fully embrace whatever challenges lie ahead.
"Obviously, all the divisions are going to keep on growing. I think the biggest thing is that it’s always good to get new, fresh faces out there, in the division. I hope it continues to rise."
Johnson sits down with Joe Rogan
With 13 flyweight world titles in North America and Asia, Johnson is widely considered a true GOAT of MMA.
He most recently finished Moraes to become the ONE flyweight world champion at ONE on Prime Video 1, avenging a surprising knockout loss from April 2021.
As he awaits his first world title challenger in ONE, "Mighty Mouse" recently appeared as a guest on "The Joe Rogan Experience."
For almost three hours, he spoke to Rogan about a wide range of topics, including his move to ONE Championship, his new mindset after losing to Moraes, his unique special rules superfight with muay Thai superstar Rodtang Jitmuangnon, and much more.
Afterward, Johnson spoke glowingly about the sit-down interview:
This story first published at ONEFC.com.