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Getting To Know The Softer Side Of Edward 'The Ferocious' Kelly

Edward Kelly opens up about his dreams, drive, and determination in preparing for his upcoming fight
by FHM Staff | Jun 14, 2018
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Edward Kelly, coming off a record-breaking win with the fastest knockout in One Championship’s featherweight division via kicks and punches at 21 seconds of the 1st round just last January 26, is once again getting ready to face one of the toughest challenges in his professional career to date going up against Mongolian Martial Artist Narantungalag Jadambaa at the One Championship: Pinnacle of Power event in Macau on June 23. One of the original members of Team Lakay, hailing from the University of Cordillera with fellow alums Coach Mark Sangiao, Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, and Kevin Belingon, Kelly was the original competitor to use “The Rock” as a moniker before he took a break from competition—which was when teammate Honorio Banario eventually adopted it. We sat down with “The Ferocious” to discuss a bit of his background, his preparation for the upcoming match, and the future he sees for himself after his competition days.

How did you get started in Martial Arts?

Ako Wushu talaga kami pero ike-credit ko din yung pinaka first na start ko since pumunta ako sa Wushu nuon is Taekwondo. Pero mga one month lang ako nag training duon. Suddenly nakita ko yung Wushu and that time sikat na sikat yung Wushu sa Baguio.

Was Martial Arts your first love or did you do other sports like Basketball, for instance?

Oo [Martial Arts], ganun pala talaga kapag nakita mo yung sport na gustong gusto mo , mararamdaman mo talaga tsaka hahatakin ka talaga. Nakikita ko yung mga lumalaban, dun ako talaga na encourage na gusto kong subukan. Tsaka siguro nasa dugo na din talaga.

How do you normally prepare for a match?

Once na may laban, kelangan ko i-set up yung sarili ko. Ako, taga Baguio talaga kami pero yung misis ko nagwo-work sa Bataan. Kapag normal day na walang laban nandun ako sa family ko sa Bataan para ma-enjoy yung pag laki ng anak ko. Pag nandun sa Bataan training ng konti, maintain pa rin yung kondisyon. Then once na may laban, pag akyat namin ng Baguio, parang yung feeling na in-house fighter ka kasi wala kang gagawin kundi mag training, conditioning, lahat lahat na.

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What is training camp like?

Araw-araw yung training namin, two times a day. Morning training namin is 10-12, tapos yung pang-evening namin is 6:30-10. Pinaka solid sa training namin yung striking, pero maraming nagugulat kasi nakakasabay na kami sa grappling. Ang pinaka nakikita kong secret namin is kasi nagtutulungan kami as a team talaga. Yung bawat experience sa laban shina-share ng bawat isa. Tapos gagawan namin kung papaano maso-solusyunan.

How do you psych yourself up mentally against an opponent?

Sa tingin ko kami na nasa highland nasa blood na namin yung nature na parang palaban. Hindi naman sa pag-ano sa ibang lugar, meron talaga na pag sinabi mong ‘yan taga Baguio,’ may pride talaga. Tapos nade-develop na lang sa training yung heart...parang lumalakas pa yung loob lalu.

What are you specifically working on for your next match?

Na-observe ko sa sarili ko, dun ako nagwo-work on ngayon si yung takedown defense. Kasi parang na observe ko sa lahat ng laban ko madali ako ng na ta-takedown. Pero sa pakiramdam ko e unti-unti ko namang na o-overcome, napapag aralan ko na.

How has your mindset changed since you got married?

Ang laki talaga ng pagkakaiba. Nung time na nasa college kami, tuwing lalaban kami basta ipakita lang namin na fighter kami, malalakas kami. Yun yung pakiramdam namin. Dati bababa kami dito sa Manila lalaban kahit walang talent fee. Dati naka tanggap ako ng 500 pesos na premyo, panalo pa ako nun. Kaya yung laban para lang talaga sa pride. Ngayong pamilyado na, pasalamat naman namin kasi dumating yung One Championship, kahit papaano puwede maging propesyon mo talaga, source of income para sa pamilya mo.

Your last match was record-breaking. Is there more pressure now to perform as well every time?

Sa pakiramdam ko wala naman. Hindi sumagi sa isip ko yung pressure. Ang kinakatakutan ko lang is lalaki yung ulo na hindi na mag eensayo. Kasi siyempre lalu na yung record mo na ganun, yung next na makakalaban mo paghahandaan ka din ng husto. Kaya yung challenge ko sa sarili ko na naibigay ko yung ganun na record, mag trabaho pa ako lalu para mas maganda pa yung laban sa susunod.

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Do you prefer fighting more here at home or abroad?

Sa akin mas gusto ko sa Pilipinas. Kasi nandun yung pakiramdan na home court advantage.

What is next for Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly?

Of course yung magkaroon ng belt. Yun yung hinahangad ng lahat. Tapos, to build a name para sa future. Kapag nasa iyo na yung belt mas madali na makaka build ka ng career bilang coach.

What would you like to say to your fans?

Sa mga Martial Arts fans sa Pilipinas. Maraming salamat sa kanilang pag suporta. Nararamdaman namin ang kanilang pag suporta through social media and kung ano man yung pagkukulang namin as a Martial Artist sinususbukan naming i-workout sa mga susunod na match.

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What advice can you give future Martial Artists

Ine-encourage ko yung mga kabataan na sumali sa Martial Arts. Marami nag iisip na delikado ang Martial Arts, pero safe naman siya kasi may technique naman tsaka may training naman. Wag sila matakot, mas maganda subukan.

Photography: Mark Jesalva

 

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