Four years after kicking off his professional career, Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia finally made his debut in ONE Championship, and he did not disappoint.
After a slow start, the 30-year-old defeated Team Lakay’s Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly via unanimous decision at ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS, live from the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A beautiful side kick to the head from Kelly started the action, followed up by another two kicks which kept Urrutia at bay. The 33-year-old Filipino looked as though he wanted to keep Urrutia at a distance with a number of kicks, but the minute the American could get inside, the bout hit the floor.
“The Honey Badger” controlled the top game for the next few minutes, but Kelly eventually pushed away and the two were back to their feet. As the round came to a close, the Team Lakay standout had slowed down a bit, but was still trying to utilize his effective kicks.
Immediately as the second round began, Urrutia — an SFC Bantamweight Champion — brought the match back to the ground, and jockeyed for position inside Kelly’s guard. For the rest of the frame, Urrutia continued to pepper “The Ferocious” with ground and pound from the top, controlling the Filipino with strikes and relentless pressure.
With just over 10 seconds left in the stanza, Urrutia landed a knee to the head of his foe, and then went for a slick kimura, but Kelly was saved by the bell.
Following a touch of the gloves, the third round began, and Urrutia was able to bring his opponent to the ground once again. During a scramble, “The Honey Badger” locked in two hooks on Kelly’s back, and worked for a submission, but was unable to do any damage, as the Filipino managed to sweep him and wind up in top position.
As the two returned to their feet, Kelly looked to land his kicks once again, but the gas tank was emptying out. Both men traded punches and kicks to finish off the match, ultimately leaving their fate in the judges’ hands.
In the end, Urrutia got his first win under the ONE Championship banner in his debut, and pushes his record to 10-4. Kelly gets his three-bout win streak snapped, and falters to 9-4.