During Saturday’s undercard match at the “ONE Championship: Kings and Conquerors” in Macau’s Cotai Arena, former ONE lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku of Japan overcame an early scare to bag a stoppage victory over Eric Kelly of Baguio City.
Kelly started the 1st round with leg kicks and right straights to Boku’s midsection. Halfway through the round, Kelly dropped his opponent with a right hand on top.
However, the durable Japanese survive and landed shots of his own at the final seconds of round one.
After a few exchanges in round two, Kelly took the contest to the mat. He managed to drop Boku with another right hand, though he was quickly losing power.
Relentlessly launching strikes at the exhausted Filipino, Boku stalked Kelly during the final round. Kelly had Boku on the canvas, but their positions were reversed and Boku rained down punches at Kelly which forced the referee to stop the contest at (timer) 3:37 of round three.
“I really feel disappointed with what happened. I was really prepared for my bout against Kotetsu Boku, but there are things that it’s beyond our control.” Kelly said.
“I am fine and no harm done. But I cannot deny that I am disappointed. I have to accept the outcome. It is a hard lesson for me, but I will be back as an improved and better fighter,” he added.
Plunging his record from 12-1 to 12-4, it was Kelly’s third straight defeat.
But it’s at times like this that MMA fighters, boxers, and every athlete need all the support they can get. Besides, losing is not so bad at all. As female Jiu-Jitsu gold medalist Jinri Park said: “Actually sometimes, I gain more knowledge when I lose. If I lose I still win, because I’m going to gain more techniques and it’s going to drive me to become a better Jiujitsuera.”