By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
VETERAN mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Edward Kelly returns to action later this week in a fight that he considers something that could decide the direction he would take moving forward.
Team Lakay’s Kelly, 37, is to face Ahmed “The Prince” Faress of Egypt in a three-round featherweight clash as part of ONE Championship’s tape-delayed “Full Blast” event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium airing on Friday, May 28.
It will mark the return of “The Ferocious” in the ONE Circle after a year-and-a-half absence.
He said a lot is riding on the outcome of his latest fight, including his future in the sport.
“I’ve thought about walking away from it all, mostly due to my age. I’m not a young fighter anymore. I know this is a young man’s game,” Mr. Kelly said. “But I want to test myself and my body.”
Mr. Kelly (12-8) admitted that his last four fights, where he went 1-3, did not produce ideal results and had him and his team sitting down and evaluating his game, and trying work to address the situation.
He hopes to showcase the result of their “recalibration” in the fight against Mr. Faress (16-3).
“I want to prove to myself that I still have it. I know I still have good fights in me. I want to show the world my fighting heart. I want to show the best Edward Kelly in the Circle,” he said.
Adding, “The time off I’ve had was great in the sense that I was able to do a lot of self-reflection. I really came to terms with where my career is at, and mentally I feel stronger than ever. I’m more motivated now to continue with my career. I want to redeem myself.”
Mr. Kelly last fought in November 2019, losing to China’s Kai Tang by unanimous decision.
He now faces Mr. Faress, a product of the ONE Warrior Series.
“[Faress is] a well-rounded fighter, from what I’ve seen. He’s great on the ground, but I’m also willing to grapple with him all night. I am confident in my grappling skills,” said Mr. Kelly of his opponent.
“I want to dominate this fight from start to finish. That’s my plan. So whatever area this fight goes, I want to dominate him. I want to showcase my hard work.”
ONE: Full Blast is headlined by the ONE Super Series Bantamweight Muay Thai showdown between #1-ranked Saemapetch Fairtex and Thai compatriot Kulabdam “Left Meteorite” Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai.