FORMER cab driver and stuntman Eric Kelly tries to move a step closer to a One Fighting Championship title as he makes his return in War of Dragons against Rob Lisita of Australia on July 11 at the National Taiwan University Sports Center in Taipei.
Kelly looks to claim the One FC featherweight crown for the Philippines after Honorio Banario. After his knockout victory over former Ultimate Fighting Championship titlist Jens Pulver two years ago, Kelly suffered his first career loss to Banario.
Banario went on to become the first Filipino One FC champion but quickly fell and has suffered successive losses to current featherweight titlist Koji Oishi and recently against Jadamba Narantungalag.
Now Kelly, coming off a first-round submission victory over Jianbo Lu in a Universal Reality Combat Championship card last November, begins his bid for a One FC title.
Lisita is fresh from a first-round knockout triumph against Yusuke Kawanago in ONE FC: Rise of Heroes in Manila last month. It was the Australian’s fourth straight win and seventh in the last eight fights.
“Lisita and Kelly are two of the best featherweights in the world and both of them consistently deliver crowd-pleasing bouts,” ONE FC chief executive officer Victor Cui said.
The Kelly-Lisita clash is one of the 10 matches confirmed in One FC’s first event in Taiwan.
Kelly also tries to replicate the recent success of compatriot Geje Eustaquio, who earned a title shot in the flyweight division after scoring a convincing unanimous-decision win over Kentaro Watanabe in Era of Champions just last week in Indonesia.