ONE Championship: Sangiao plans on heart-to-heart discussion with Edward Kelly following latest defeat

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 20, 2019 10:29 AM
Sangiao plans on heart-to-heart with Edward Kelly after loss
“This cannot be. I am not seeing improvements. He needs to improve or else he will continue to struggle in his career.” - Mark Sangiao on Edward Kelly (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)

Team Lakay's head coach Mark Sangiao plans to have an intensive talk with Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly following another setback at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS last Saturday, 16 November at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China.

Kelly – who once held the fastest knockout in ONE Championship history with his 21-second demolition of Meas Meul – took a unanimous decision loss at the hands of hometown favorite Tang Kai.

Shades of “The Ferocious” of old was hard to find in his match against Tang because the Chinese athlete dictated the tempo from start to finish. 

"I have to talk with him, he needs to be hungry once more," Sangiao said. 

“This cannot be. I am not seeing improvements. He needs to improve or else he will continue to struggle in his career.” 

What pained Sangiao the most with Kelly's lackluster performance was how everyone in Team Lakay did their part in his training camp, yet he still came up short.

All the soft-spoken mentor wants to know is how much the 35-year-old wants to improve. 

“We need to talk to him about it. I want to know if his heart is still in it. He also has to consider that everyone around him is also doing their part. His teammates are also sacrificing for him,” Sangiao said. 

“Although this is an individual sport, you will not survive if you’re alone. It’s unfair to the partners, trainers and everyone doing their part.” 

Kelly, who totes a 12-8 record, has been hounded by his duties outside the Circle and in turn, lost his focus according to Sangiao.

“You’ll see that he lost his hunger. I’ve seen a lot of things and of course I’d point that out to him. It also reflects in training sessions. In there, you’d see if one is still interested and dedicated in winning,” the Team Lakay head coach said.  

“I think his other obligations are also getting in the way because I believe that if you’re on this level, sacrifices have to be made. One reason is, I felt like he wasn’t 100 percent focused in training.” 

Sangiao cannot tell for sure what is next for Kelly after the loss. But he will have a better grasp of things once they talk. 

“I’ll always tell him the things that needs to be improved on. Then we’ll see how he absorbs it and then that’s where we can truly say what’s next.”

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