Edward Kelly battles Pinoy fighter at ONE: Valor of Champions
MANILA, Philippines – Edward Kelly, the younger brother of celebrated Filipino fighter Eric Kelly, has been booked to face fellow Pinoy combatant Jimmy Yabo on the undercard of ONE Championship’s “Valor of Champions” event on April 24 at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
Kelly (5-2) has lost back-to-bout bouts under the banner of Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, suffering a 44-second submission setback to Brazilian grappler Herbert Burns in December 2013 before bowing down to Malaysian prospect Ev Ting via second-round knockout in October 2014.
Prior to his two-match losing skid, Kelly was riding high on an impressive five-fight winning streak, instantaneously making a name for himself in the Asian MMA circuit by trouncing Tariq Jan and Tanaphong Khunhankaew.
With the intention of placing himself back on the winning track and ensuring a high-quality preparation, the 31-year-old Baguio City native rejoined Mark Sangiao’s Team Lakay after training at MuayFit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for nearly three years.
On the other hand, Yabo (4-0, 1 NC) is a product of Universal Reality Combat Championship’s Cebu chapter, winning four of his five outings by knockout.
However, Yabo was last seen in action when he put veteran Lorde Rey Yamit into sleep with punches in January 2013.
Pitting two Filipino stalwarts against each other is not a new scenery inside the ONE cage as the organization staged this type of all-Pinoy showdown on two occasions in the past.
Honorio Banario won the ONE featherweight title with a fourth-round stoppage victory over Kelly in February 2013, while Geje Eustaquio outpointed Eugene Toquero by three-round verdict in December 2013.
ONE: Valor of Champions is headlined by a welterweight championship clash between reigning 170-pound kingpin Ben Askren and Luis Santos.
It will also feature the first ONE appearance of Mark Striegl, who is squaring off with undefeated American standout Casey Suire. – Rappler.com