Local fighter Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly looks to add more spice to an already loaded ONE: Dawn of Heroes fight card happening on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Kelly, along with former UFC title contender Yushin “Thunder” Okami of Japan, was one of the latest additions to the fight event and will be join Team Lakay mates Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Danny “The King” Kingad and Honorio “The Rock” Banario as the Cordilleran fighters who will be donning the Philippine flag during the event.
Kelly is set to take on ONE Hefei Bantamweight Tournament Finalist Xie “The Striker” Bin of China in a three-round MMA featherweight showdown which could propel himself back to the mix of contenders in the division.
This will be Kelly’s third appearance in the last seven months.
He was knocked out in the first-round by current ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore last January but bounced back to score an impressive second-round TKO victory over Sung Jong Lee of South Korea last April.
Kelly, however, said he don’t mind the quick reemergence in the ring and is happy to be fighting again, especially that the bout will be in Manila.
He also emphasized the importance of the upcoming fight in propelling him back to world title contention.
Kelly currently sports a 12-6 MMA record. Nine of his wins coming by abbreviated route, 6 by knockouts and 3 by submissions.
He is currently in a see-saw trend in his last six bouts, losing and winning one each alternately. One of his best career performances came during this run when he took out Meas Meu in just 21 seconds, the fastest knockout and finish in ONE Championship’s featherweight division.
As earlier announced, Folayang is set to square against Eddie Alvarez in a lightweight MMA bout. Both Folayang and Alvarez are coming off disappointing losses in their last bouts.
Kingad takes former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinal bout.
ONE new recruit Demetrious Johnson will take on Tatsumitsu Wada in the other ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinal bout.
The winner of this bout will face the winner of the Kingad- Akhmetov bout in the finals.
Banario will see action in a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinal contest against Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin, who earned his spot by upsetting Alvarez in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
The former ONE Featherweight World Champion is a lucky loser as he actually lost to Lowen Tynanes in the quarterfinals but will step in as contender instead because the former is injured.
Fil-Aussie Reece Mclaren, whose mother was Australian and father was from the Philippines, will also be appearing to take on Yuya Wakamatsu in a flyweight MMA bout.
By Armando M. Bolislis