MANILA, Philippines -- Team Lakay veteran Edward Kelly is feeling well-rested and rejuvenated after a break from competition and is ready to get his career back on track.
The featherweight is in the midst of a tough streak, having lost three of his last four matches inside the Circle. He dropped back-to-back decisions to Xie Bin and Kai Tang in 2019, and did not fight at all in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 36-year-old Kelly has the chance to turn his fortunes around and revitalize his career when he faces Egypt's Ahmed "The Prince" Faress in his next bout.
The two are scheduled to fight at ONE: Full Blast, a tape-delayed event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium that airs on Friday, May 28.
"After that last loss, I sat down with the team and we really went through everything," said Kelly. "We dissected every aspect of my game, and we were able to discover a few things I needed to work on."
"Everyone from Coach Mark [Sangiao] to all my teammates, we discussed how to move forward. Like we always say, we either win or we learn, and this was a learning experience," he said.
Kelly admits that he lacked "mental preparation" in his recent bouts, which affected him even if he was physically prepared to fight.
"The physical training has always been good and I’m always in the best shape possible, but my mind wasn’t in the right place and I just couldn’t execute," he explained.
"Now that we’ve taken the steps to fix that, I feel so much better. I feel like a new fighter," Kelly guaranteed.
Kelly fought four times in 2019. He defeated South Korean grappler Sung Jong Lee impressively by technical knockout, but also surrendered losses to Christian Lee, Xie Bin, and Tang Kai.
"The Ferocious" is now looking to redeem himself in the best possible way against a dangerous opponent in Faress.
"I was much too tense in my previous fights. I need to let loose and unleash the ferociousness inside of me. I think I’m in a good place right now, physically and mentally," Kelly said.
"The time off I’ve had was great in the sense that I was able to do a lot of self-reflection. I really came to terms with where my career is at, and mentally I feel stronger than ever. I’m more motivated now to continue with my career. I want to redeem myself," he added.
"I miss the thrill of competition and I’m super excited right now to step back into the Circle and give it my all."
ONE: Full Blast also features a major ONE Super Series bantamweight Muay Thai showdown between No. 1-ranked Saemapetch Fairtex and his Thai compatriot Kulabdam "Left Meteorite" Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai.