June 20, 2024

Thirty-seven-year-old Edward Kelly of Team Lakay has proven he has many fights ahead of him when he scored a split decision win against Ahmed Faress in their featherweight match in ONE: Full Blast in Singapore on May 28.

Kelly has frustrated the debut fight of the 29-year-old Faress of Egypt, who almost caught him with a triangle choke attempt in the second stanza of their bout.

It wasn’t an ideal start for Kelly, as the Egyptian floored him early on with a surprising right hook. But Kelly sprung back, connected with a leg kick, ducked under a head kick attempt from Faress, and landed a takedown. He then unleashed some solid punches to the body and head of Faress.

The second frame was a challenging one for Kelly when Faress mounted a triangle choke attempt that lasted nearly a minute and a half, but the Filipino veteran managed to survive by tucking his head close and softening his opponent’s hold with some body shots.

Looking to make up for lost time, Kelly swung wildly from the top position, raining elbows down on Faress and throwing punches to the side of the body. The bell sounded with Kelly in half guard, looking to continue dishing out punishment.

In the third round, Faress became a stationary target for the Filipino fighter after the former looked exhausted from the prolonged triangle choke attempt in the second round.

Kelly continued to score with his strikes, chopping away on his opponent’s legs with low kicks while moving back just as Faress loaded up his right hand. It was a strategy that Kelly continued to employ for the duration of the final stanza.

After three rounds, two of the three judges ruled in Kelly’s favor.

Kelly improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 13 wins and eight losses while Faress dropped to 16 wins and four losses. – HFP