Top featherweight contenders Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly of the Philippines and Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore are set to clash once more when they meet in a rematch at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY on Saturday, 19 January at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.
When they last met, Kelly emerged victorious, but not the way that he would have wanted, after being on the wrong end of an illegal slam that led to Lee getting disqualified.
Now, Kelly is preparing for that very same aggressive style from the 20-year old Singaporean.
“In our first match-up, I learned that he’s overly aggressive, so that’s what I’m preparing for,” Kelly told ONE Championship.
“We know that Lee is aggressive and he likes to finish people, but against me, he won’t be able to get that easily. Of course, I’m going for the win as well,” he says. “I think his aggressiveness could also be his downfall.”
Apart from the aggression, the 34-year old Filipino striker is also preparing himself for what could be a tough battle on the mats.
“He’s explosive, and he’s good on the ground – a submission artist,” Kelly explained. “I’ll try my best not to get trapped in those submissions.”
The Team Lakay product recently earned his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt, and hopes to be able to utilize his skills against Lee.
“I added some additional skills and escapes – let’s see how effective it will be in the match.”
Kelly will be the first member of Team Lakay to take to the cage in 2019, and he’ll be tasked to set the tone for another strong year after the famed Filipino stable had a stellar 2018, winning four world championships in a span of 12 months.
“The pressure is on us, but we need to stay focused,” Kelly says. “Even if we’re on the top right now, it won’t stay that way if it’s only on our minds. We need to give our all in every match, to show our true strength and how hard we trained.”
Much like his teammates, Kelly also would like to earn some world championship gold, and a win over a top contender like Lee could be the first step.
“I think I need at least another win before I get that World Title shot.”
“However, if I would be blessed with a World Title bout already, then I would be grateful,” he says.