Pinoy fighter Edward Kelly refuses to belittle Dutch foe at ONE FC bout
MANILA, Philippines – Edward Kelly knows that he has a tough challenge ahead of him as the Filipino fighter’s Dutch opponent moved down to the featherweight division with a ton of experience.
Kelly is set to face ex-lightweight mainstay Vincent Latoel on the undercard of ONE Championship’s "Titles and Titans" event, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, August 27.
Even though Latoel will be fighting for the first time as a featherweight competitor, the 32-year-old Baguio City native refuses to be complacent against the 35-bout veteran.
“Vincent is known to be a very good striker with lots of power. It will be an interesting match-up between us two. That’s why I’m laser-focused on training,” Kelly told Rappler.
Kelly, who has been a featherweight since he started his prizefighting career in March 2007, explained that Latoel cannot be counted out, citing his first-round knockout victory over Hong Kong’s Eddie Ng in May 2014.
In that match, Latoel capitalized on Ng’s frustration to score a takedown as he dropped and finished his surging foe with a hard right hand in the opening salvo.
"He beat Eddie Ng by knockout, [and] that says a lot about his capabilities," Kelly said of Latoel.
However, the 37-year-old Dutch has not won a single contest since September 2015 when he thwarted brash French journeyman Arnaud Lepont with punches and soccer kicks in the second round.
Latoel has lost 4 of his previous 7 matches under the ONE Championship umbrella, which included a lopsided decision defeat at the hands of Kelly’s teammate Eduard Folayang in December 2013.
Meanwhile, Kelly has won two of his last 5 outings inside the ONE Championship cage after being unbeaten in his first 5 professional fights.
Kelly is coming off a first-round submission victory over Jordan Lucas last March, where he forced his Australian opponent to wave the white flag with a rear-naked choke.
Winning 3 of his 7 career triumphs by way of submission, Kelly pointed out that it only shows the improvement that Team Lakay made in the grappling department.
“We all know where we need to improve. There hasn’t been a single day where we didn’t train grappling. We are working very hard to improve our grappling skills and it’s starting to pay off," he stated. – Rappler.com