There will be an intriguing prelude to the main event clash between ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao and challenger Josh “Timebomb” Tonna at ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES.
Toivonen will be looking to crack the divisional rankings, while McLaren will be attempting to solidify his status and continue climbing.
In the end, only one man will be able to further his cause.
Since turning pro, “The Giant” has dominated every one of his opponents. Before entering ONE Championship, he went 6-0 (2 NC), with all six wins coming by submission.
And after joining Evolve MMA in November 2018, he took his undefeated streak to The Home Of Martial Arts and submitted Akihiro “Superjap” Fujisawa in an impressive debut.
Unfortunately, the streaking Toivonen tore his ACL during training, forcing him to the sidelines for the next 15 months as he worked towards this return to action.
McLaren, meanwhile, has taken a different type of dominant journey to this point.
He’s an XFC and an Eternal MMA Champion with a grappling record of 170-22. After joining ONE, he served Muin “Tajik” Gafurov his first loss before dropping a split decision to ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
Then, after moving down to flyweight, “Lightning” racked up three wins against Antapong “Mak Mak” Bunrad, Gianni Subba, and Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada. Finally, he capped off 2019 with a submission win over Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat.
If he hands “The Giant” the first loss of his career, McLaren will prove he’s a true force to be reckoned with at flyweight. But if Toivonen wins, he may knock “Lighting” out of the rankings and etch his own name into the top five.
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