Two of the top featherweights currently competing in Asia will go head to head in Taiwan next month when Eric Kelly takes on Rob Lisita at ONE FC: War of Dragons in a fight which could well turn out to be a title eliminator.
Kelly (10-1) has already fought for the title once, but was stopped in the fourth round by Honorio Banario after suffering a recurrence of an eye injury, with three fights in the space of six months clearly taking their toll.
He took a few months out to recover, but bounced back to submit Jianbo Lu at URCC 24 late last year and with wins over Mitch Chilson, Bae Young Kwon, and Jens Pulver, he remains one of the top contenders in the division.
Lisita (14-5) burst onto the scene by beating Yusuke Kawanago in a rematch earlier this year and the Australian, who is a veteran of the now defunct Legend FC, is 7-1 in his last eight fights and has avenged his only recent loss.
It is a match-up that Lisita has been calling for ever since he signed for ONE FC. Sources suggest that matchmaker Matt Hume is likely to reward the winner of this contest with an immediate title shot.
The belt is currently the property of Koji Oishi, who is coming off back to back wins over Banario, but with the likes of Jadamba Narantungalag, Hiroshige Tanaka, and maybe even Shinya Aoki in the mix, 145 pounds is emerging as one of ONE FC’s most competitive divisions.
Lisita’s bout with Kelly is one of several fights currently confirmed for ONE FC: War of Dragons, which takes place at the NTU Sports Centre on July 11 and marks the organization’s first foray into Chinese territory.
Also on the card at ONE FC: War of Dragons will be a featherweight fight between Hong Kong’s Nathan Ng (0-0) and Frenchman Florian Garel (2-3), a bantamweight bout involving Taiwan’s Sung Ming Yen (2-1) and Malaysian Muhamad Haidar (2-1), and a lightweight clash pitting Taiwan’s Zhang Zheng Jie (2-0) against another Malaysian, Rayner Kansiong (2-0).
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