Reece McLaren
Reece McLaren will face Windson Ramos at ONE 162 in a marquee matchup. ONE Championship photo


  • Reece McLaren has his sights set on avenging his loss to Kairat Akhmetov
  • "I was too floaty," McLaren says of his 2019 performance against Akhmetov
  • Both men carry winning streaks into ONE Fight Night 10

ONE Championship's flyweight division remains stacked as ever with the wealth of talent that they have, and two ranked fighters are set to duke it out for a chance of fighting for the title after ONE Fight Night 10.

For No. 4-ranked Reece McLaren, his road to title contention pits him up against a familiar foe in the form of No. 2-rated Kairat Akhmetov.

The pair had shared the cage back in March 2019 at ONE: A New Era, where "Lightning" was soundly beaten en route to a unanimous decision victory for Akhmetov.

Going into the Singapore-based combat sports promotion's first-ever card in the United States, McLaren is adamant that Akhmetov will see nothing familiar about him.

"It was a long time ago that we fought for the very first time. I felt him. I know what he's bringing to the table. I don't think he knows what I'm bringing to the table this time," McLaren said.

At the time of his loss to the Kazakh, McLaren was riding a three-fight winning streak that featured two submission victories and a strong split decision win over Tatsumitsu Wada.

The hype train was chugging along for McLaren, but the loss to Akhmetov snuffed all of it out and along with it a chance for an immediate title shot as their bout was a quarterfinals matchup in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

"I didn't really fight too well. I made a few mistakes, and when you've watched enough fighting and done it enough, you know when you're bluffing and when you want to fight and now, I definitely want to fight. Now, I know exactly where I went wrong and what happened," McLaren said while reflecting on the loss.

"I was too floaty. I knew I had power but I didn't really believe it or trust it. A bit of a wrong game plan and it was really interesting. So I had learned this like, shooting kind of technique and it wasn't really a strategic technique. I don't know, it was more like a technical thing."

This time, however, the Australian is warning Akhmetov from discounting him in their rematch as he believes to have the overwhelming advantage on all aspects of the fight game.

"I don't want to bag him, but with all respect to him, it's like, man, you're (Kairat Akhmetov) still the same. I've just improved over everything. I'm putting it all together, bridging all the gaps. I'm excited about this one. I can't wait to get in there," McLaren stated.

With McLaren and Akhmetov bringing in winning streaks of two and five fights respectively, both men will surely be leaving it all inside the cage at the 1stBank Center in Denver, Colorado on May 5.

Kairat Akhmetov, Reece McLaren
Kairat Akhmetov (right) lands a punch on Reece McLaren (left). ONE Championship