Friday, April 12, 2019

Eric Kelly Loses To Kwon Won Il Of South Korea Via First-Round KO

Eric Kelly, one of the pioneers of mixed martial arts in the Cordilleras, if not in the Philippines, had another bad night when he had his lights shut out at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City in the under-card of One Championship: Roots of Honor. He succumbed to the punching power of Kwon Won Il, a lanky South Korean who took the fight on short notice. Kelly was supposed to lock horns with Kai Tang of China but the latter pulled out of the card. Reason for the shift hasn't been disclosed by the promotion.

The bout started normally with each fighter trying to read each other's movements. The beginning of the end came when a straight right hand from Kwon landed flush on Kelly's jaw and put him on the mat. A few hammer fists later, the referee stepped in to end the bout.

Kwon Won Il was vacationing in Manila when he was called to be Kelly's opponent. He last fought for One Championship in February in Singapore. He was submitted by Masakazu Imanari, the legendary Japanese fighter.

This is Kelly's sixth loss in a row. All losses came by either knockout or submission prompting fans to suggest that maybe it's time for him to hang up the gloves. Whatever route he chooses, he will always remain as one of those who paved the way for Cordilleran and Philippine MMA. With a professional career that started in 2009, Kelly currently holds a record of 12 wins and 7 losses. He had wins over Mitch Chilson, Jens Pulver, and Rob Lisita.