Filipino mixed martial artist Eric “The Natural” Kelly had a rousing return to the octagon, submitting Chinese Jianbo Lu to gain the Superfight title in the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) 24 Uprising at the SMX Convention in Mall of Asia Arena Saturday evening.
Kelly, who lost his One Fighting Championship featherweight belt to fellow Filipino Honorio Banario last year, came out with a great grappling performance to overcome the Chinese’s strong kicks to the body.
Kelly caught Jianbo in the first round with an armbar which forced the Chinese to tap out.
“Thank you God for letting me last night,” said the 31-year-old Kelly (10-1 win-loss log) via his Facebook account.
Igor Subora retained his URCC heavyweight title with a first-round technical knockout of Southeast Asian Games multiple gold medalist Marcus Valda, who couldn’t get up after being hammered by Igor’s deadly fist.
Red Romero defeated Ricardo Sapno via submission rear naked choke in the third round to win the URCC featherweight title.
In other bouts, Adrian Hillana whipped Ali Khatibi via rear naked choke in the first round, Roy Doliguez defeated Franklin Donglay via split decision and Reysaldo Transmonte ripped Andrew Benibe also via split decision.
JOSEF T. RAMOS