LOOK: Christian Lee And Edward Kelly Settle The Score With A Ping Pong Match
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 23, 2019 11:00 AM
"We laughed and indulged in a game of ping pong. We can't avoid being good to each other outside the cage. After the fight, the fight is over.” - Edward Kelly
Fresh off a first-round TKO defeat to Christian “The Warrior” Lee at ONE: ETERNAL GLORYlast Saturday, 15 January at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia, Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly was already up and running for a third meeting with his Singaporean foe.
But instead of squaring up once more in the ONE Championship cage, they settled the score on a ping pong table in the lobby of their hotel the next day.
"Martial arts teaches values like forming camaraderie. Martial arts is a whole lot more than just fighting, and that's what I want people to see,” said Kelly.
"We laughed and indulged in a game of ping pong. We can't avoid being good to each other outside the cage. After the fight, the fight is over.”
The pair was the perfect example to display the true essence of martial arts, and their upbringing definitely plays a huge factor there.
Kelly comes from the highly-touted Team Lakay gym in Benguet, where aside from being the home of World Champions, is also known as a place where values and respect are traits expected from their athletes.
Lee on the other hand comes from a family of martial artists, with his older sister Angela Lee the longtime ONE Women's Atomweight World Champion herself, and his father Ken, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt.
That is why it is no surprise to see the two become the perfect ambassadors of Asian values, something that ONE has been putting on a premium since the martial arts organization opened shop in 2011.
"I want people to understand that we are professional fighters. It's just a job, and part of that is having to punch each other," Kelly explained.
"As a mixed martial artist we prepare for the worst, but it's also normal for us that after the fight our humility comes first and build friendship from there.”
At the end of the day, respect always comes first, and not even a chance at the ONE Featherweight World Title would put that in the backside.
"We have nothing but respect for each other. It's always tense before a fight, but after the fight we quickly had a chat when we saw each other."