Every time he steps into the ONE Championship Circle, Filipino athlete Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly makes it a point to push himself beyond perceived limitations.
However, many people don’t know that his exploits on the global stage are a reflection of his life away from it.
Always living on the edge, Kelly has long been fascinated by extreme activities – none more so than cliff diving.
“When we were kids, there was a river near us and we always looked for a spot where we could jump into the river. We weren’t getting content with the height, so we kept looking for ways to jump from a higher spot,” he says.
“Those were really good times, just hanging out with my friends and my brother, Eric.”
A Passion Reignited
Posted by Lon Bacolod on Tuesday, March 20, 2018
In March 2017, Kelly’s obsession with cliff diving fully took off. After settling down with his wife in Mariveles, Bataan, he discovered a beautiful diving spot near the shoreline.
With the help of a local, “The Ferocious” was able to navigate the area. Soon after, he was hooked.
“It took a while before I was able to jump again,” the 36-year-old says. “When I married my wife, it opened an opportunity for me because we live near the beaches and I found out that you can cliff dive there. I was really excited.”
Kelly began with leisurely dives at areas often frequented by tourists. But not feeling satisfied, he went higher and higher. Eventually, he was taking off from 60 to 80 feet – extreme heights normally reserved for professional cliff divers.
“From then on, I was really engaged,” Kelly recalls.
“They have four spots where you can jump from, which get higher and higher. We went to the so-called “bat cave,” the highest spot there, and my tour guide told me that he was the only one who jumped from there, so I followed him and jumped myself.
“Even though it was scary, it was very fulfilling and exciting. It just hurt my butt when I landed, and at that time I wasn’t experienced yet, so I struggled landing.
“It was a different feeling, but it was really amazing. I wish I could have brought a camera with me, but it’s tough climbing. We had to scale the mountain because there are no clear roads.”
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TeamLakay retreat in Five Fingers, Mariveles, Bataan????☝️
With a beautiful and accessible spot to cliff dive from, the activity has become a staple of Kelly’s lifestyle. For that reason, he wanted to share his passion with his teammates.
The featherweight mixed martial artist hosted a Team Lakay vacation at his favorite diving spot in April 2019, just one day after Joshua “The Passion” Pacio reclaimed the ONE Strawweight World Title in a battle with Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR.
“That was after Joshua’s fight in Manila,” Kelly says. “Instead of going straight to Baguio, we went on a side trip to Bataan.”
It was certainly a memorable day for the team, but nobody else dared to dive with Kelly from the highest spot.
“I invited them to jump, but no one wanted to jump with me. I was asking coach Mark [Sangiao] and Eduard [Folayang] to jump, but no one joined me,” Kelly adds with a laugh.
Aside from the rush that diving provides, Kelly believes it’s a good way to stay mentally sharp – something that’s important whether he’s jumping off a cliff or stepping into the Circle.
And when he takes the leap – suspended in the air filled with adrenaline and euphoria – it makes him feel like anything is possible.
“It strengthens me mentally because it keeps me on my toes,” Kelly says.
“I always have to be ready during cliff diving because one wrong move, or if the wind blows the wrong way, it could be fatal. It gives me a good sense of belief that I can accomplish a lot of things.”
Highest cliff jump sa five fingers (pulong kawayan cave part) nasa 60ft plus first time first try, basic na basic kay idol Edward Kelly ng #teamlakay hahaDante barona ng team lakay haha
Posted by Lon Bacolod on Friday, March 23, 2018