ONE Championship fighter Eric Kelly: I have to redeem myself

Eric Kelly, Joshua Pacio

Eric Kelly, Joshua Pacio

Eric Kelly, 35, of the Philippines and Rafael Nunes, 30, of Brazil will compete in the featherweight division in the main card of “ONE: Global Superheroes” on January 26, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The two were present during the kick-off press conference on January 22, 2018 at the Manila Grand Ballroom of the City of Dreams in Paranaque, Metro Manila.

“Rafael Nunes has been away for a while, so I am not sure if he got stronger or improved,” Kelly stated. “All I know is that I am training to achieve a win. My opponent is a human like me, and everyone is beatable. I always put that in my mind.”

Since defeating Hiroshige Tanaka in 2015, Kelly has yet to get another win. The Filipino fighter failed to defeat his three most recent opponents namely Ev Ting, Narantungalag Jadambaa and Kotetsu Boku.

“Right now, I have to redeem myself in front of my countrymen,” Kelly added. “I might be 35 years old, but I am not giving up. I am here to stay.”

A featherweight standout from Baguio City, Kelly is widely considered one of the best homegrown martial arts athletes to come out of the Philippines. The wushu practitioner combines solid striking techniques with high-level grappling skills, which has resulted in nine impressive submissions and one knockout out of 12 total victories.

Kelly’s most impressive showing to date came in a submission win over Rob Lisita in 2014. Currently, Kelly holds a record of 12 wins and 4 losses while Nunes has 10 wins and 1 loss.

“ONE: Global Superheroes” will be headlined by Kelly’s fellow Baguio City resident Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio and Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan. Eustaquio’s fellow Team Lakay fighter Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will co-headline with Lan Ming Qiang of China in a strawweight bout.

The “ONE: Global Superheroes” kick-off press conference was attended by ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Global Citizen co-founder and Managing Director Wei Soo and City of Dreams Manila Vice President for Gaming Operations Kevin Benning. Appointed as Global Citizens ambassadors, ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela “Unstoppable” Lee and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang also graced the event.

Ticket information for ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES is available at

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