At this stage in his career, Team Lakay veteran Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly knows no fear, especially when it comes to facing the biggest and baddest featherweights in ONE Championship.
At ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON, set for Saturday, 8 September at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China, Kelly will take on yet another top-tier talent in former ONE World Title challenger Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Evolve MMA.
Having just faced former ONE Featherweight World Champion Narantungalag Jadambaa in his last outing, Kelly is determined to get back on the winning track after a knockout loss. But to do so, he will have to get past the equally dangerous Lee.
“Christian Lee is a talented young man with a lot of potential. I have seen his fights, he’s very good and has an amazing team behind him. It’s definitely going to be one of my hardest challenges,” said Kelly in an interview with ONE Championship (www.onefc.com)
The 34-year-old has seen it all in his five years so far with the promotion, and has faced some of ONE Championship’s toughest featherweights. Compared to Lee’s body of work, Kelly would seemingly have the edge in overall experience.
Even in his last bout against Jadambaa, Kelly says he learned a lot.
“I made some key strategic mistakes and got lured into fighting at Jadambaa’s pace instead of my own,” Kelly explained.
“I wasn’t able to stick to the game plan and as a result, he was able to take me down and finish me. I won’t make that same mistake again. This time, I will dictate the pace.”
Kelly is nearly 15 years Lee’s senior. They say mixed martial arts is a young man’s game. But despite the huge age gap, Kelly feels it will come down to who has the better skill set when the two meet at the center of the ONE ring.
For “The Ferocious”, his experience in squaring off against some of the division’s best including Jadambaa will pay dividends.
“Christian is an aggressive finisher with solid grappling skills. I am fully aware of his ability to attack and end fights quickly,” said Kelly.
“But he isn’t the first knockout puncher I’ll be in the ring with, nor will he be the best grappler. He’s talented, but he has a long way to go and I think my experience will play a huge role in how this bout plays out.”
While Lee has the world champions at Evolve MMA backing him from beyond the ropes, giving him instruction in a critical match up, Kelly will, of course, have Team Lakay in his corner.
The Filipino is now currently deep in training, running the high altitudes of Baguio City where he and his band of brothers power through the elements. Not even inclement weather, brought about by fierce monsoon rains ravaging the country, has been able to peel Kelly’s focus away from the task at hand.
“I am determined to get this victory. It’s a very important fight for me. I feel like I’m the underdog heading into this match up,” said Kelly.
“I am ready to surprise everyone yet again and I will give this young man a stiff test. We don’t have much at Team Lakay, but we do the best we can with what we have and that makes me very proud.”
Just the other day Team Lakay had to deal with a power surge that left the gym with no electricity and no lights, a common occurrence whenever there’s a bad storm, which incidentally has been hitting Baguio City hard for more than a week.
Yet despite their predicament, Kelly’s team was able to find other ways to push through with training, even in pitch darkness.
“Nothing can stop us from doing what we love. We will always adjust and we will always give our best in training,” Kelly concluded.
“If we work hard, we achieve the desired results. As martial artists, our job is to keep improving, and I’m ready to show fans the fruits of my labor.”