Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly has learned a lot from his previous setbacks, and he believes that has made him a better martial artist.
He intends to display his startling growth when he faces South Korea's Sung Jong Lee on the preliminary card of ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR, which takes place at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila on Friday, 12 April.
The hard-hitting dynamo from Team Lakay, who once held the fastest knockout in ONE Championship's featherweight history with his 21-second stoppage of Meas Meul, is coming off a first-round TKO loss at the hands of Christian "The Warrior" Lee.
Admittedly losing focus in his last outing, Kelly vows that it will never happen again.
“I feel like I’m more focused now. I want to redeem myself after losing my last fight, where I learned the importance of mental preparation,” the 35-year-old Baguio City native said.
“I know that I had prepared physically for my match against Christian Lee, but I lacked the mental strength against him. This Friday, I will show the things that I learned from that fight.”
Also, it does not help that the last two opponents who defeated him — Narantungalag Jadambaa and Christian Lee — will both be battling for World Titles in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, respectively.
Coincidentally, Jadambaa will be challenging ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for the belt in the ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR main event.
Although Kelly is concentrated on his South Korean opponent, he still yearns for a World Title opportunity.
“My biggest regret is losing to Jadambaa. I had a feeling that if I beat him, I’d have a World Title shot already, but we weren’t so lucky. I guess it’s not our time yet,” Kelly said.
“I was thinking that if my teammates can become World Champions, why can’t I? With my age, if we’re being practical, I’m closer to retiring and I haven’t experienced being a World Champion yet."
“I wasted a huge chance, and I know it. I hope that it will serve as a huge lesson.”
Eager to get back to his winning ways, “The Ferocious” intends to send a message and prove he is still a force to be reckoned with in the talent-rich featherweight division.
“I want to go back to my younger days where I fought really aggressively,” he said. “I hope to show that on Friday.”
Catch ONE: Roots of Honor on Friday, April 12th at 8:30 PM, LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 and on the iWant app!