After recording the fastest knockout win in the history of ONE Championship’s featherweight division, Edward Kelly (10-4) returned to the back still nervous. Aside from the fights of his brothers-in-arms at Team Lakay, he was waiting for the bout of his brother Eric Kelly.
Just like everyone else inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena, the 33-year-old featherweight wanted to his brother bounce back. And what better way to do it than against a highly-touted prospect, Brazilian Rafael Nunes.
Surviving the first round, Eric was more loose to start the second stanza. The 35-year-old Filipino went for a right front kick but was quickly caught by Nunes, who then threw Kelly down to the mat. Kelly tried to get up but the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu expert grabbed his opponent by the neck and secured a tight D’arce choke for the tap out.
For the fourth straight fight, “The Natural” (12-5) — who was never stopped in his first 11 bouts — was on the losing end.
During the post-fight press conference, Edward was visibly distraught over what is happening to his brother’s career. He felt helpless that he could not do anything to help his brother get back up.
“Siyempre yung feeling ko na disappointed tapos pang-apat na sunod na talo niya na yun. Wala ako magawa e,” the Baguio-native expressed.
Just as he had shared a year ago, Edward wants Eric to come join him in Team Lakay. With the game evolving, Edward feels that Eric’s training methods are no longer as effective as they once were.
“Although, ang ginagawa namin, nag-tretraining kami. Ako kasi may team e. Iba kasi sa team kaya ini-invite ko siya sa Team Lakay. Siya kasi, simula’t sapul, sarili siya nagtre-training,” Edward reflected.
“Pinapanindigan niya yung pagiging “The Natural”. Tinanong ko nga siya, ‘Saan ka nag-training?’ Sagot niya minsan, ‘Sa bundok!’
“Sa akin, yung MMA pataas na ng pataas yung level. Sana marinig niya yung payo ko na pumunta siya sa isang team. Kahit hindi sa amin, iba talaga ang may team,” he furthered.
Even Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao is open to having an experienced fighter like Eric, who is 35-years-old.
“Puwede namang pag-usapan yan. Lahat naman tayo hindi closed-minded. Depende na lang siguro sa agreement. This is sport, madali lang pag-usapan yan,” Sangiao said.