BY DAN PAULO ERRAZO
This exciting matchup between two finishers at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines could steal the entire show. Looking back on his career, Kelly is in awe of how far he’s come since he made the decision to follow the footsteps of his older brother, Eric Kelly, and become a professional mixed martial artist.
Edward first took up kickboxing before shifting to Wushu in college where he excelled has a member of the school’s varsity team. Shortly after graduating, he veered away from the world of martial arts to pursue a career as a law enforcer. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.
“I took up Criminology in college since I planned to become a police officer someday,” Kelly said.
“I was trying to pursue a career as a policeman but I had difficulty landing a job after graduating. I then got married and moved to a different province but my wife didn’t want me to work in the police force so I opted to take us back to Baguio and pursue mixed martial arts like my brother.”
He made his decision to move back to Baguio City and reunite with his Team Lakay family when he saw Eric winning a hefty US $50,000 bonus in just one bout.
“I was on hiatus that time I saw him compete with ONE,” Kelly said.
“When I saw my brother Eric competing I was struck in awe of how exciting and happy he looked. He talked about this unexplainable feeling when you are doing something you love and representing yourself, your family, and your country. That encouraged me to take up martial arts and I have not stopped competing since.”
A lot changed for Kelly when he found success and happiness in becoming a mixed martial artist. He is eternally grateful for having a brother who paved the path for him and has supported him throughout his entire life.
“I really look up to him and he is one of my sources of motivation,” Kelly concluded.
“He was the one who inspired me to take up martial arts and supported me even before I became a professional. I will always be forever grateful that whatever I was able to accomplish right now is because of him. Martial arts has given us a special bond that I will always treasure and I always think of him whenever I compete.”