Interview: ONE Championship’s Reece McClaren sees flyweight title shot in future

Ahead of his bout with Yuya Wakamatsu, ONE Championship flyweight contender Reece McClaren spoke with Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko. In the short interview, McClaren said he believes with a strong performance against the fourth-ranked Wakamatsu, he could be the next challenger for the flyweight championship.

Who will he face in that potential bout? McClaren predicted former UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson would defeat Adriano Moraes in the flyweight title bout on April 14. A week later on April 21, McClaren faces Wakamatsu in the UFC on TNT 3 event in Singapore.

“It’s an intriguing one,” McClaren said of the Johnson-Moraes fight. “I think DJ’s wrestling is going to be the thing that turns the fight in favor of the winner. I’ve got DJ.”

McClaren is coming off a first-round knockout of Aleksi Toivonen in October. He also took a boxing match in November.

“We actually had the boxing match scheduled beforehand. That’s all we thought we’d have in the year,” McClaren said. “But then ONE came up … and we started the year with a bang.”

Primarily known as a grappler, the 29-year-old McClaren (14-7) has crafted his striking over the past four or five years to become a more well-rounded martial artist. He’s done it all based out of Queensland, Australia, where McClaren calls home.

His striking will be put to the test against Wakamatsu, who is best known for his powerful right hand.

“It’ll be either a grappling affair or a standup battle. I’m not really sure which way it’s going to go yet,” McClaren said. “That excites me in itself.”

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