Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly’s martial arts career offers a lesson in perseverance.
Although the Filipino had a difficult start in ONE Championship, he continued to train hard, and has since become one of the most exciting featherweights on the entire roster.
The 34-year-old has battled through adversity to record some breathtaking victories, and if he continues the trend, he could emerge as a potential challenger for the ONE Featherweight World Title.
Before he returns to action against former ONE Featherweight World Champion Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa on Saturday, 23 June at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in Macau, check out four of Kelly’s best finishes.
A Stunning Comeback Submission
Competing out of the Philippines’ famous Team Lakay, Kelly is best known, like his teammates, for his wushu striking. However, he has the grappling ability to end a contest, too – as his three submissions demonstrate.
Kelly’s match with Jordan “Showtime” Lucas at ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS in Yangon, Myanmar showed that, as well as his extraordinary capacity to weather a storm.
Lucas controlled the opening minutes. The Australian immediately scored a takedown, and then relentlessly attacked from top position. Despite this, “The Ferocious” would not go away.
As soon as he had the opportunity to attack on the ground, Kelly locked up one of the tightest rear-naked chokes ever seen in the ONE cage. Such was the strength of the hold, Lucas was forced to tap at 3:47 of round one before the Filipino was even fully on his back.
An Instant Knockout
The first round of Kelly’s match with Vincent “Magnivincent” Latoel at ONE: TITLES AND TITANS in Jakarta, Indonesia was a grueling affair.
The action was sporadic, as a series of strength-sapping clinch battles against the cage proved a huge test of stamina. The man with the better endurance was likely to take over once the second frame began.
Clearly, “The Ferocious” was the one with more fire in him. Both men stood toe-to-toe to start round two, with each competitor unloading their best strikes. Just 57 seconds into the stanza, however, the Team Lakay veteran landed the final punch to end the contest.
Latoel’s forward charge was met with a right body kick. Kelly immediately followed that up with a left hook, and then an unstoppable right hook, which sent the Dutch-Indonesian crashing to the canvas.
A TKO Against All Odds
As the third round began in Kelly’s ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION clash with “The Terminator” Sunoto in Manila, Philippines, he needed to do something special.
The Indonesian warrior had dominated matters on the ground for two whole rounds. Heading into the final stanza, it appeared he was in pole position. However, with just over three minutes to go, “The Ferocious” struck.
As Sunoto changed levels to shoot for a takedown, he was caught cleanly with a counter knee to the head and fell backwards. It is a testament to the Jakarta native’s toughness that he did not get knocked out, but he was in deep trouble.
Kelly rushed in, calmly slid into full mount, and unleashed a devastating melee of ground and pound. “The Terminator” had no escape, and the contest was waved off at 2:14 of the final frame.
A Record-Setting 21-Second Stunner
Kelly could not have started his 2018 campaign any better. He was matched up against Meas Meul atONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES in Manila, and he put on a spectacular show for his fans inside the Mall Of Asia Arena.
There was no feeling-out process in this bout. “The Ferocious” immediately countered the Cambodian’s inside leg kick with a right hand, followed by a left hook. None of those punches found their mark.
That fact ended up being academic a split-second later, as the combination was completed with a high right knee, which sent Meul to the canvas after just 21 seconds.
Kelly’s celebration was put on hold for a moment, as he immediately showed compassion and checked on his fallen opponent’s well-being.
Once he realized Meul was alright, the Filipino climbed the cage wall to celebrate the fastest finish in featherweight history, and to deafening cheers from his adoring countrymen.