Team Lakay will now have four athletes to represent the country at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES as Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly will be joining Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, Danny “The King” Kingad and Honorio “The Rock” Banario in hoisting the Philippine flag aloft on the blockbuster card.
Kelly is slated to lock horns against ONE Hefei Bantamweight Tournament Finalist Xie “The Striker” Bin of China in a three-round featherweight showdown in one of the opening matches of the aforementioned event, which takes place at the Mall of Asia Arena on 2 August
This will be Kelly’s third appearance inside the ONE Circle this 2019 after splitting his first two assignments.
Back in January, Kelly suffered a first-round TKO loss against the current ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore in their rematch at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY in Indonesia.
However, the 35-year-old Baguio City native bounced back strong, scoring an impressive second-round TKO victory over Sung Jong Lee of South Korea at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR in Manila last April.
With another opportunity to climb up the ONE featherweight rankings, Kelly can’t wait to perform again in front of his hometown fans.
“I am really excited about this match. I have to admit, there’s always a nervous feeling when you fight here,” said Kelly.
“But even back then, I wanted to just keep on fighting. I was really happy when I heard that I’ll be fighting again and it’s here in Manila.”
Training non-stop since winning more than two months ago, Kelly admits that he is more motivated and inspired now to train given that three of his Team Lakay brothers will also be competing on the same card.
“Everything is just enjoyable, the feeling of training every day is lighter cause we all want to be at our best on August 2, that’s where our focus is,” said Kelly.
“For me, it certainly adds to my confidence.”
But despite Kelly’s confidence and an enormous reason to win, the challenge waiting for him in Manila will definitely be going to push him to his limits.
Xie owns an impressive record of seven wins with only two losses. The 21-year-old Chinese prospect has won his last six matches and has shown tremendous potential to make an impact on the global stage with several of his wins came from impressive passion.
In his last outing, Xie submitted Ahmad Qais Jasoor of Afghanistan by D’Arce choke in the second round in the same card with Kelly in Manila last April.
“He’s an all-around athlete. Whoever’s more determined to win, will take the victory,” said Kelly. “I know within myself that I am more determined.”
With an impressive win could lead him to a world title shot, Kelly doesn’t have any plans of wasting another golden opportunity.
“This is a very important fight for me,” shared Kelly. “I really need to get this victory cause I know this will get me back to World Title contention. ”