Edward Kelly entered Friday’s ONE Championship duel with Ahmed Faress considering retirement.
He walked out of the circle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium that night with a split decision victory on the one hand, and the realization that he still had gas in the tank on the other.
Kelly, now 37, has stood up to a young opponent from Egypt whose skills include high-level strikes and holds to achieve a 100% finish rate.
“I knew in my mind that I [won the] the first and second rounds. I knew I had the advantage, ”said team featherweight Lakay de Benguet. “I just wanted to keep that advantage.”
Kelly bounced back from a two-game slide, improving his pro record to 13-8 and knocking Ahmed down to 16-4.
His wrestling and grappling was really the key to the fight, as they kept the Filipino afloat whenever his enemy led the fight on the ground.
“I felt it,” Kelly said of his nemesis’ triangular choke in the second round. “I almost typed [out]. I was, say, 80 percent [close to tapping]. “
“But mental toughness, brother,” he stressed.
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