One FC’s first event took place amidst a blaze of publicity but once the dust had settled there was no doubt who the star of the show was – Eric Kelly.
Kelly went against unbeaten Mitch Chilson in a match the bookmakers had dead even but, in the end, the Filipino stunned the crowd by putting the Singapore-based American to sleep with a Rear-Naked Choke in the opening round of action.
It was Kelly’s sixth consecutive submission win and probably the most impressive performance of the URCC featherweight champ’s career. His record stands at 6-0 and he is already being talked about as one of the most exciting prospects to have emerged from the Philippines.
The up-and-comer recently took some time out of his busy scheduled to speak with Fighters.com and answered a few questions about Filipino MMA, his victory over Chilson, and life in general…
Were you nervous before the fight at One FC 1 because there were so many people there?
No sir! I’m not nervous, I’m so excited because I will represent my country again and this is what I want.
You have never fought in a cage before did that make a difference?
No it did not make a difference to me, because I’m a fighter I should be prepared to fight anywhere whether it’s standing or on the ground or in a cage or a in a ring.
Were you surprised when Chilson took you down?
I was not surprised because as a fighter you must be ready for absolutely anything that can happen.
That was a nasty cut you opened up with those elbows from the bottom, is that something you practice?
Yes I practice that, we have many strikes in Yaw Yan (a type of Filipino kickboxing) that can be used standing or on the ground
Did you have a game plan going into the fight?
I have no game plan, I just come to fight and to take on whatever the other fighter gives me although I did want to work my stand up in this fight.
You train at Yaw Yan Ardigma in Baguio. How many people train with you at?
They are many, we have gyms in Cebu as well.
How many times a week do you train?
I train two times a day, Sunday is my rest day to be with my family
Who are your trainers?
I had a good coach before when I was in Philippines team of Wushu Sanshou and I learned a lot from him which I try to apply. I have many friends to train with and I go to different gyms to work on different styles and find sparing partners
You and Eduard Folayang both come from Baguio, why do you think there are so many good fighters from there?
I think its partly because of the high altitude in our place but mainly because fighting is in our blood.
Did a lot of people in the Philippines watch your fight at One FC 1?
I think so because I received a lot of texts and messages from all over. I was really proud to represent my country in front of so many people.
Are you going to fight for One FC again?
Yes, I look forward to fighting for One FC for years to come – it’s the biggest honor for a fighter in Asia.
You are the URCC Featherweight Champion. How much did fighting in the URCC help you to develop as a professional fighter?
Every Filipino fighter wants to be in the URCC and it helped me a lot for me because it was my stepping stone to reach my dream to fight for One FC.
After the fight everyone was talking about you and Eduard, are you surprised by how much attention you have received?
Yes I’m so surprised but now it’s back to hard training so I will be ready for my next fight.
When you submitted Chilson the crowd went crazy and there was a lot of cheering, how much did it mean to you to have so much support?
I’m so much happy and I’m thankful for that support. It felt great to be a part of the ONE FC first show and I look forward to many more!!!!
For all the latest on Kelly check out his Facebook fan page.
PHOTO CREDIT – ONE FC