MMA

Seoul’s Kwon Won Il earns 2nd ONE Championship win, knocks out Eric Kelly in the Philippines

Kemp Cheng, Kwon Won Il (© ONE Championship)

Kemp Cheng, Kwon Won Il (© ONE Championship)

Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il, 23, of Seoul, South Korea was one of the winners at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” It was his second victory in ONE Championship.

Featuring two kickboxing contests, two Muay Thai bouts and 11 mixed martial arts matches, “ONE: Roots of Honor” took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on April 12, 2019. In the sixth bout of the evening, Kwon faced Eric “The Natural” Kelly, 36, of Baguio City, Philippines in an MMA match in the featherweight division with Kemp Cheng as the referee.

Kwon bounced back in a big way after making quick work of Kelly with a flash knockout in the first round. The Seoul native landed a well-placed right straight that rocked and dropped his Filipino opponent.

Cheng put a stop to the featherweight contest after 19 seconds in the first round when Kwon knocked out Kelly. It is the second fastest stoppage victory in ONE Championship’s featherweight division.

Winning at “ONE: Roots of Honor” improved Kwon’s professional MMA record to 9 wins and 1 loss. On the other hand, Kelly now has 12 wins and 7 losses.

Training out of Extreme Combat and Top Gym BF, Kwon made his ONE Championship debut on January 19, 2019 at “ONE: Eternal Glory” at Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia where he knocked out Anthony “The Archangel” Engelen, 33, of Indonesia and the Netherlands. On February 22, 2019, the Seoul native was submitted by Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari, 43, of Japan at “ONE: Call to Greatness” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.

Including the Philippines and South Korea, 18 countries were represented at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” The other countries were Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.

Kelly was one of the four hometown heroes at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” On the other hand, Kwon solely represented South Korea.

Originally, Kelly was set to Tang Kai, 23, of China at “ONE: Roots of Honor.” The Chinese fighter was pulled out of the card and was replaced by Kwon.

Watch Kwon’s ring walkout at “ONE: Roots of Honor” here:

Check more photos from Kelly and Kwon’s bout at “ONE: Roots of Honor” are on Top Sports Asia.

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