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Fil-Aussie pug McLaren tests mettle of Fernandes as they clash for One bantamweight belt

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By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Another Filipino MMA fighter will get a shot for a world title.

Filipino-Australian pug Reece McLaren will battle Brazilian opponent Bibiano Fernandes for the One bantamweight championship at the new co-main event of One: Age of Domination at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Dec. 2.

The MMA promotion announced on Tuesday that Fernandes, who has been a crowd favorite in the Philippines, will stake his belt against the upstart McLaren, who made waves by stunning Mark Striegl last year at the said venue.

[Related Story: McLaren stifles Striegl in huge One upset]

The Brazilian belt holder, however, may have a huge edge as he defeated a Filipino in his last title defense on Jan. 23 in Changsha.

[Related Story: Belingon bows to Fernandes in One title conquest]

The said championship clash effectively became the new supporting bout to the One heavyweight title bout between Brandon Vera and Hideki Sekine.

[Related Story: Vera battles unbeaten Japanese foe in One's PH return]

“One: Age of Domination is shaping up to be one of the most exciting fight cards we have ever put on in Manila. With the addition of another title bout, fans in the Philippines and all around the world can look forward to an amazing night of world-class mixed martial arts action,” said One CEO Victor Cui in a statement.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno