Filipino mixed martial arts veteran Eric “The Natural” Kelly celebrated his 36th birthday on April 30, 2018. On May 12, 2018, he will fight his 11th ONE Championship bout at “ONE: Grit and Glory” and he is eager to return to winning ways.
Based in Baguio City, Philippines, Kelly is considered as one of the most successful products of the established Philippine MMA scene. He was not able to savor every bit of his 36th birthday as he is focused on his next assignment inside the ONE Championship cage.
Kelly is set to duke it out with Japanese journeyman Tetsuya Yamada in a three-round catchweight contest on the undercard of “ONE: Grit and Glory,” which will take place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The MMA fighter from Baguio City cannot think of a better birthday present for himself than to return home with the victory over Yamada although his cage meeting with the seasoned Japanese fighter is 12 days after his birthday. The Filipino fighter said, “It will be a great birthday present for me to get the win.”
“It’s an added motivation going into the bout against an experienced martial artist like Tetsuya Yamada on May 12,” Kelly added. “I really want to go back home as the winner.”
The last time Kelly won inside the cage was on October 9, 2015. He defeated his Japanese opponent Hiroshige Tanaka via unanimous decision at “ONE: Tigers of Asia” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After defeating Tanaka, Kelly lost to Ev Ting, Narantungalag Jadambaa, Koketsu Boku and Rafael Nunes. Watch the bout between Kelly and Nunes here: