July 19, 2012

Eric Kelly to Fight a UFC Veteran in ONE FC: Pride of a Nation

Come August 31, the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City will play host to a major Asian MMA event - the ONE FC: Pride of a Nation. Among the fighters to see action on fight night is Cordilleran Eric "The Natural" Kelly. Although now based and fighting out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kelly will be fighting for the Philippines. He will be facing Jens "Lil' Evil" Pulver, a UFC and WEC veteran.

Kelly is undefeated in 7 fights. 6 of these victories were via submission. The fight with Pulver this coming August will be his third ONE FC appearance. He choked Mitch Chilson in Champion vs. Champion in 2011 then decisioned Bae Young Kwon last June of this year.

Pulver is a huge step-up for Kelly. Pulver is old, he's 37 years old. However, he is a very experienced fighter, one of the old lions who can easily knock out new players in the sport. Pulver is just a shadow of his old self, there's no doubt about that. You can say that he's a washed-up fighter. But this doesn't mean he doesn't pose any serious danger.

Pulver has a record of 26-16-1. That's a total of 43 MMA fights. Compare that to Kelly's 7 fights.
Left: Jens Pulver, Right: Eric Kelly

Here's something to give you an idea on who Pulver is: he has wins over B.J. Penn, Caol Uno and Cub Swanson. He had shared the ring with the likes of Urijah Faber, Leonard Garcia, Joe Lauzon, and Takanori Gomi. If you are a fan of MMA, these names in one time or another were on top of their respective divisions.

As I mentioned earlier, Pulver used to be a great fighter. But now, he is way out of his prime. At one time, he had a 6-fight losing streak. He rebounded with a few wins but these were against unknown fighters. This, however, doesn't take away the fact that he is one who can take you out with a single power punch.

In a nutshell, Pulver will be a huge test for Kelly. He's a knockout artist. And he's good in the ground.

Eduard Folayang will also be fighting on the card. However, no opponent has been announced yet.

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