ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON is not short on marquee bouts.
The match-up occupying the third spot from the top of the bill when the world’s largest martial arts organization returns to Shanghai, China, could be a main or co-main event on any other show.
After all, both Christian “The Warrior” Lee and Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly are mainstays of the top end of the featherweight division, thanks to their achievements and all-action approach to battle.
On Saturday, 8 September, they will face off at the Baoshan Arena to determine who will take the next step forward into World Title contention.
The Tale Of The Tape
Lee (9-2) is one of the most outstanding young athletes in the mixed martial arts world.
Despite only turning 20 in June, the Singaporean has already built a record that rivals most athletes who are a decade older than him, and competed for the ONE Featherweight World Title.
As well as being successful, he is also one of the most exciting competitors on the planet. He does not like to hang around in the cage, and he appears to be adverse to judges – every one of his wins has come via stoppage, and only two have come after the first round.
Kelly (10-5) is one of Team Lakay’s veteran competitors, with strengths that are typical of a long-term member of the Baguio City gym.
The origin of his “Ferocious” moniker is clear as soon as he lets his hands and feet fly, as he has the same sort of striking ability that has brought many of his teammates’ success.
Like Lee, he is fond of a finish – with a 100 percent rate in ONE. He has also shown an evolution of his skills in recent years, becoming more comfortable on the mat.
Keys To Victory
As much as Kelly’s grappling has improved, his most likely route to having his hand raised is on his feet.
Not only does he have the skills to land effective strikes in combination, he has bout-ending power, too. Just look at his emphatic finishes of Vincent Latoel and Meas Meul for evidence of how dangerous he can be.
His opponent is no slouch in the stand-up realm, and could be more than a match if proceedings are toe-to-toe, but Lee is more likely to thrive when both men are engaged in grappling.
“The Warrior” is a powerful competitor, and capable of slamming strong opponents to the mat, where he can quickly muscle his way into positions for submissions, or hammer away with ground and pound.
The Spoils Of Victory
A win is essential if either man wants to get straight back into the frame for ONE Featherweight World Title Contention.
Both Lee and Kelly need to build another win streak to rise through the ranks, and stand out from the pack in pursuit of Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen’s belt, and that starts here.
Also, team bragging rights are on the line. This is one of two battles between two of Asia’s top mixed martial arts gyms, as Evolve and Team Lakay go head to head.
The Filipino squad has been enjoying an outstanding year, but a win for Lee, along with a victory for Amir Khan against Honorio “The Rock” Banario, would swing momentum toward the Singapore-based camp.
Shanghai | 8 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast