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Eric Kelly eager to reclaim ONE title shot



A lot of things changed Eric Kelly’s MMA career in a blink of an eye.

Over a year ago, the Filipino featherweight pulled off a huge comeback victory after being dominated by his opponent, “Ruthless” Rob Lisita, in their title-eliminator fight at ONE’s Battle of Dragons card in Taiwan. Covered in his own blood, he rallied back and submitted his Australian foe to earn the right to challenge for the promotion’s 145-pound belt opposite Narantungalag Jadambaa in what could have been part of an explosive year ender card in Manila last December.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Eric Kelly eager to reclaim ONE title shot

It was supposed to be the perfect fight for him that time; returning to the Philippines after spending time outside the country. A series of unfortunate events turned his career upside down. From being a title challenger to someone who will be needing to work his way up once again starting this October 9 at ONE: Tigers of Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Nagkaproblema lang at may injury kaya hindi ako nakalaban sa title fight noon at natagalan ako walang laban,” Kelly explained.

In his fight with Lisita, he suffered a broken nose that eventually did not heal in time. The lack of time to practice left him without a choice but to pull out of the December card. In addition, his camp’s dispute over his contract put his career on a stall which sidelined him for 14 months that greatly affected his contender status.

Now Kelly is now a 100%. With things already sorted out, Eric accepts that he has to climb the ladder once more. Fortunately for the Filipino fight fans, he keeps a positive outlook that someday he’ll be given another chance to fight for the ONE Featherweight crown.

“Sa akin, ok lang kung hindi nila (ONE Championship) ibigay yung title fight sa akin. Baka hindi ko pa panahon, tanggapin ko lang kung ano man ibigay sakin,” he said. “Sa ganito katagal almost 1 year, namiss ko lang lumaban ulit.”

“Masaya ako na lalaban ako ulit,” he closed.