Everyone wants to be a fighter nowadays. Kids go into the gym hoping to be the next Shinya Aoki or Eduard Folayang, drunk men go into the bar thinking they’re tough guys who can stand and trade and girls have stopped oogling at the hot dudes in the cage and fantasize about being Ronda Rousey instead. Everyone wants to say, “I’m a fighter” but no one realizes the hardship that you have to go through to reach that level of success. It’s a road filled with heartbreak, disappointments and physical injuries. Just ask Eric Kelly.
In a recent interview with MMAOrient, it was brought to light that Kelly was injured entering the biggest match up of his career. According to the report, Kelly sustained a serious leg injury a week before the fight. That injury came back to haunt the rugged Filipino fighter when he felt the pain on his right-shin early in the first round when it got into contact during striking exchanges with Honorio. Needless to say that it affected Kelly, who in the opinion of many, looked sluggish and “out of it” during the fight.
On top of the leg injury, Kelly had to deal with a bad eye injury which he suffered last year in a fight against Phuket Top Team’s Brad Terrey. The injury, despite healing 10 days after his fight with Terrey, came back to haunt him in his battle for the ONE FC Featherweight Title.
“When Honorio hit my right eye, my vision in both eyes turned black for about 20 seconds. I couldn’t see anything.” Kelly said in regards to what happened in the 4th round of his fight with Banario.
It seems that right now Kelly will not be taken any new fights and will be taken time off for his injuries to heal. “Health always comes first before the fight. Eric is human, not machine. He shouldn’t take any more fights until he’s 100% fit again. We all love Eric Kelly and we don’t want to see anything bad happen to him.” said Muayfit owner and Kelly’s boss, Paul Teo.
However, despite being open about his injuries, Kelly did not want to take anything away from Banario’s performance and win against him. “Honorio did his best and deserves to be the ONEFC champion.”, said Kelly after his fight.