Image from ONE Championship: Jay Furness

Australian MMA fighter Reece McLaren makes his return to ONE Championship on May 4.

Reece ‘Lightning’ McLaren will return to the ONE Championship cage in a flyweight MMA contest at ONE Fight Night 22.

Australian Reece McLaren (ranked #4) is set to take on China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Hu Yong (ranked #5) on May 4 at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

McLaren last fought in May 2023 at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs Moraes III, where he lost to Kairat Akhmetov by unanimous decision.

However, Akhmetov was found to have failed an out-of-competition drug test ten days after his win over McLaren – which led to McLaren unsuccessfully calling for his fight to be overturned to a ‘no contest’.

The winner of ‘Lightning’ versus ‘Wolf Warrior’ could potentially be next in line for a Flyweight MMA World Title shot against division king and MMA legend Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.

The ONE Flyweight World Champion previously praised the Australian contender, particularly on his improved striking.

“Reece McLaren, he’s right there, he’s a great athlete,” Johnson said.

“His striking was good.

“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.”

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The Aussie has had an impressive run in ONE Championship, with six of his ten wins coming by submission.

Given he is predominantly a grappler with his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, McLaren has since made efforts to become a more complete martial artist by sharpening his striking under muay thai legend John Wayne Parr.

A win against Hu Yong could see the number four-ranked flyweight thrust right back into title contention, either for a number one contender fight or for the title itself.

Watch Reece ‘Lightning’ McLaren return to ONE Championship on May 4 at ONE Fight Night 22, live from Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

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