It has certainly been tough for veteran Team Lakay featherweight Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly, who dropped three of his last four in the Circle.
However, the 36-year-old feels well-rested and rejuvenated after a break from competition, which he says has allowed him to focus on becoming a better fighter.
Kelly gets the chance to turn his fortunes around and revitalize his career in his next bout when he faces Egyptian powerhouse Ahmed “The Prince” Faress. The two lock horns at ONE: Full Blast, a tape-delayed event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium which airs this Friday.
“The Ferocious” looked back on his most recent outings and says he has learned a lot about himself from the recent setbacks.
“After that last loss, I sat down with the team and we really went through everything. We dissected every aspect of my game, and we were able to discover a few things I needed to work on. Everyone from Coach Mark [Sangiao] to all my teammates, we discussed how to move forward. Like we always say, we either win or we learn, and this was a learning experience,” Kelly said, who is 12-8 in his career.
“I just feel like I lacked mental preparation for my recent bouts. The physical training has always been good and I’m always in the best shape possible, but my mind wasn’t in the right place and I just couldn’t execute. Now that we’ve taken the steps to fix that, I feel so much better. I feel like a new fighter.”
Kelly was last in the Circle in 2019, when he fought four times in just one year. He defeated South Korean grappler Sung Jong Lee impressively by technical knockout. Later, though, he also surrendered losses to Christian Lee, Xie Bin, and Tang Kai.
Kelly is now looking to redeem himself in the best possible way against a dangerous opponent in Faress.
“I was much too tense in my previous fights — I need to let loose and unleash the ferociousness inside of me. I think I’m in a good place right now, physically and mentally,” Kelly said. “The time off I’ve had was great in the sense that I was able to do a lot of self-reflection. I really came to terms with where my career is at, and mentally I feel stronger than ever. I’m more motivated now to continue with my career. I want to redeem myself.
“I miss the thrill of competition, and I’m super excited right now to step back into the Circle and give it my all.”