While it was no Jekyll and all Hyde for Eric Kelly as he stumbled upon Australian Featherweight Rob Lisita in the main event of ONE FC 18: War of Dragons on Friday night, it took just several seconds or so for the Filipino fighter to turn the tides.
ONE FC 18: War of Dragons went down in Taipei, Taiwan, and as with previous installments, it aired LIVE on Star Sports in Asia and streamed online on pay-per-view.
Kelly and Lisita had a rambunctious start to the 145-lbs affair. However, it was Lisita who found himself overpowering his counterpart in both the stand-up and grappling department. Kelly took a toll for the worst at the start of the second stanza when a striking exchange left him with a broken nose. The bout was then stopped midway through the round for the cageside doctors to take a closer peak at Kelly, but that seemingly gave the Filipino fighter a much needed time to recover.
As the bout resumed, Kelly scored a takedown although it was Lisita who ended up in side control. Lisita eventually worked his way towards Kelly’s back but lost position, allowing the latter fighter to get to full mount and scramble for Lisita’s back thereafter. Kelly eventually went for the classic Rear-Naked Choke and garnered the tap.
Kelly took home an extra USD $50,000 for his come-from-behind performance and with the victory, took a step closer towards his second shot at the ONE FC Featherweight title.
The theme throughout the night centered around quick finishes and the co-main event was no different. Former Legend FC champ needed less than two minutes to dispatch Rafael Nunes, who entered the Lightweight tussle off the heel of ten straight victories. But that didn’t faze Ando one bit as a takedown attempt by Nunes proved fatal, with the Japanese veteran reversing for a very neat back take before capitalizing on a slick Rear-Naked Choke submission.
Elsewhere on the card, Koetsu Okazaki secured his second straight victory under the ONE FC banner with a TKO victory over Russian maestro Yusup Saadulaev, while the Taiwanese fighters went a perfect 2-0 on the night.
It’s well worth noting that none of the fights went the full distance.
Check out the full results from the event below:
- Eric Kelly def. Rob Lisita via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:42 of Round 2
- Koji Ando def. Rafael Nunes via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:41 of Round 1
- Koetsu Okazaki def. Yusup Saadulaev via TKO (Punches) at 4:21 of Round 2
- Jake Butler def. Mohamed Ali via TKO (Punches) at 1:21 of Round 3
- Paul Cheng def. Mahmoud Hassan via TKO (Retirement) in Round 2
- Chi Lewis Parry def. Alain Ngalani via KO (Elbows) at 4:11 of Round 1
- Ming Yen Sung def. Nicholas Lee via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:10 of Round 1
- Jeff Huang def. Bala Shetty via TKO (Punches) at 3:20 of Round 1
- Eliot Corley def. Rayner Kinsiong via TKO (Punches) at 1:37 of Round 1
- Nathan Ng def. Florian Garel via Submission (North-South Choke) in Round 1