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Eric Kelly moved to Dubai to get away from bad vices

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Tiebreaker Times Eric Kelly moved to Dubai to get away from bad vices Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  ONE: Roots of Honor Eric Kelly
Photo from ONEFC.com

At the beginning of his mixed martial arts career, Eric Kelly was unstoppable.

From 2009 to 2015, the fighter known as the Natural was unstoppable, thrashing opponents left and right.

Riding high, even Kelly would admit that he became complacent. Moreover, he found himself in bad company.

“Nawalan ako ng focus dito sa Pilipinas at nagka-bisyo ako. Dun ako napadpad at lumalaban ako ng walang ensayo,” admitted Kelly, who has lost his last five bouts – all of which came via stoppages.

“Sobrang nawala ako sa focus sa career ko.”

The now-36-year-old athlete saw his once 12-1 record fall to 12-6.

Maybe what the Filipino mixed martial arts pioneer needed was a change in scenery.

Shortly after being stopped by Tetsuya Yamada during ONE: Grit and Glory last May, Kelly decided to move to Dubai with his family.

“Inayos ko yung sarili ko. Nawalan ako ng focus nung nandito ako sa Pilipinas, kaya natalo ako five straight times,” shared Kelly.

“Ngayon at least, nag-iba ako ng background at naka-focus ako sa training.”

Come Friday, he vows that a new and improved Eric Kelly will enter the cage during ONE: Roots of Honor on Friday, April 12 as he faces Kwon Won Il (6-1).

And this bout will most likely decide whether the Baguio-native will continue on his journey or call it a day.

“Ngayon, pipilitin kong bumalik. Sa ngayon, lahat ng athlete nagte-train. Pilit kong binabalik yung sarili ko,” he expressed.

“Hinahayaan ko yung sarili ko na tanggapin yung pagkatalo. Ginawa ko yun eh, at inaccept ko na I made mistakes.”

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