ONE FC: Kelly stops Pulver; Folayang winsBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BEFORE a wild, adoring throng, Filipino fighter Eric Kelly produced a tremendous display of power that left his victim heaping praises and calling him as “the next Manny Pacquiao of Mixed Martial Arts.”
The former taxi driver and stunt man from Baguio stopped MMA legend Jens Pulver of the United States in the second round after a flurry of punches and kicks Saturday night, sending the Smart Araneta Coliseum crowd into delirium.
“He’s the next Manny Pacquiao of MMA,” the 37-year-old Pulver, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion, said of his Filipino foe, who extended his MMA winning streak to eight fights.
The end came with 1:02 remaining in the second when Kelly, who is based in Malaysia, unleashed a barrage of haymakers, leaving the American dazed and forcing the referee to stop the bout.
“He’s just fast and strong,” added Pulver.
Kelly later downplayed the comparisons saying he still had plenty of work to do to come close to what the Filipino boxing sensation has accomplished.
The statement drew a loud response that reverberated through the nearly full arena where another Filipino, Eduard Folayang, showcased a relentless display to score a unanimous decision win over Swiss-Japanese Felipe Enomoto.
Folayang, a wushu expert, constantly tagged Enomoto with stinging punch-kick combinations.
Bibiano Fernandes dominated Gustavo Falciroli of Australia in the main event that finished around 1:30 a.m. yesterday.
Three brothers from the famed Gracie clan went 2-1 for the night with Gregor Gracie winning via an armbar over Australian Nicholas Mann and Rolles Gracie stopping Tony Bonello of Australia with a rear-naked choke in the third round.
But Igor Gracie lost to a hungry Jung Hwan Cha, who beat Gracie with his own ground and pound style, ending the fight at the 3:57 mark of the third.
Another Filipino, Kevin Belingon yielded a unanimous decision to Soo Chul Kim of South Korea.
Phil Baroni put a quick end to Rodrigo Rebeiro’s night with a barrage of punches, prompting the referee to stop the fight a minute into the match.
In the most eagerly anticipated fight of the night, the fourth showdown between rival heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia ended in a no-contest.
Arlovski unleashed a couple of soccer kicks on Sylvia’s face. But ONE FC rules however state that the referee needs to make a go-signal for an open attack, deeming the strike a foul.