Kelly thrusted to action as Zamboanga journey to ONE Atom title delayed

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The anticipated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix debut by Denise Zamboanga has been moved back with Edward Kelly taking her place in the Circle instead.

This is so as ONE: EMPOWER, ONE Championship’s live event scheduled for May 28, 2021 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where Zamboanga was set to appear, has been postponed due to the current COVID-19 situation.

In its place, ONE Championship will air a tape-delayed event, ONE: FULL BLAST, where Edward Kelly makes an appearance, headlined by a ONE Super Series Muay Thai showdown between Saemapetch Fairtex and Kulabdam “Left Meteorite” Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai.

ONE, in a statement, stated that the health and safety of our athletes, staff, and fans is our top priority as always. A new date for the event and other details will be announced at a later date.

Zamboanga, perceived underdog, despite being ranked #1 in the women’s atomweight division, would have faced Seo Hee Ham in the opening round of the knockout tournament.

This is so because the highly regarded “Arale Chan” Seo is a veteran of the cage, having competed in multiple organizations since 2007, including DEEP, Jewels, Road FC, Rizin FF, and the UFC.

Sometimes referred to as “Hamderlei Silva,” fans love Seo for her high octane, aggressive style.

The “Lycan Queen”, however, is confident in scoring a massive upset to advance to the next round.

The 24-year-old Zamboanga is one of eight women who will participate in Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, Team Lakay’s Kelly will finally make his first ring appearance since his last fight on November 2019.

He will take the cudgels of welcoming Egyptian opponent and ONE Championship newcomer Ahmed Faress.

Faress is a product of ONE Warrior Series and currently sporting a 16-3 MMA fight record. He has been in matches under the Arabic Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Brave Combat Federation lately.

He defeated Alan Philpott during ONE Warrior Series 10 on February 19, 2020 by rear-naked choke submission in his lone ONE bout.

Kelly, one of ONE Championship’s pioneer fighters, is 12-8 in his MMA career. He needs to reverse a two-bout losing skid if he is to give the newbie a rude welcome in the promotion.

By Armando M. Bolislis

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