Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Eric “The Natural” Kelly made a comeback win by beating Australian Rob “Ruthless” Lisita via submission on Friday in One Fighting Championship 18: War of Dragons at the National Taiwan University Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan.
Despite a busted nose from Lisita’s ruthless beating in the first round, Kelly, 32, showed the true heart of a champion by securing rear naked choke forcing his opponent to tap out with 3:43 left in the second round.
Kelly improved his fight record to 11-1 with nine of his victories by submission while Lisita’s dropped to 14-6.
Kelly’s win boosted his chance to face current One FC featherweight champion Japanese Koji Oishi. He lost his featherweight title to fellow Filipino Honorio Banario in February 2013 via knockout.
In the co-main event, Japanese lightweight Koji Ando (10-3-2) won over Rafael Nunes (10-1) via rear naked choke with 1:43 remaining in the opening round while bantamweight Koetsu Okazaki knocked out Yusup Saadulaev at 4:21 minutes of round two.
In the light heavyweight bout, Jake Butler beat Mohamed Ali by technical knockout at 1:21 minutes of round three, while heavyweight Paul Cheng defeated Mahmoud Hassan by submission at 0:00 minutes of round three.