SET to join champion Team Lakay mates on ONE Championship’s upcoming Manila event “Dawn of Heroes,” featherweight fighter Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly said he is feeling some pressure but is bent on not allowing it to derail him from his goal of doing well and delivering.
Going up against “The Stalker” Xie Bin of China as part of the preliminary fights for “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on Aug. 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, Mr. Kelly (12-6) is part of what is going to be a stacked mixed martial arts night, which includes his champion stablemates Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Honorio “The Rock” Banario and Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio.
Mr. Folayang, the former ONE world lightweight champion, battles MMA legend and former Ultimate Fighting Championship champion Eddie “The Underground” Alvarez in a lightweight grand prix semifinal bout while ex-featherweight champ Banario goes up against Korean Dae Sung Park.
Former flyweight champion Eustaquio, meanwhile, is pitted against Yuya Wakamatsu of Japan in an alternate world grand prix fight.
Another Team Lakay stalwart, Danny “The King” Kingad, is also to take the ONE stage against Australian Reece McLaren in a lightweight grand prix semifinal joust.
“I feel a little pressure for me to do well in my next match. When you are performing on the same night with Eduard, Honorio, Geje, and Danny, I feel the need to do well and win. I also feel inspired because I know that I am not alone and no matter what happens, we will be there for each other,” said Mr. Kelly in the lead-up to Dawn of Heroes, which will be headlined by the featherweight championship fight between champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Australia and Japanese challenger Koyomi Matsushima.
Still in search for his shot at featherweight gold, 35-year-old Kelly is viewing the Xie fight with significance and requiring his only best.
“Xie Bin is really a great submission athlete. I know that I have more experience fighting professionally than him but I am not underestimating his skills in any way. Making his opponents tap may be his strongest point but I believe that his striking is his weakness and that is where I will take the match. I just need to time my strikes accurately and prepare to defend myself from his takedowns,” the motivated Baguio pride said.
Mr. Kelly is coming off a victory over Korean Sung Jong Lee in April while Mr. Xie (7-2) is on a six-fight winning streak. Michael Angelo S. Murillo