Photo via ONE FC
Honorio Banario won the ONE FC featherweight title, but his bout against Eric Kelly wasn't without controversy.
Result: Honorio Banario def. Eric Kelly by TKO (Punch/Eye injury), R4
On the main event of ONE FC 7, Eric Kelly took on his friend and former teammate Honorio Banario for the inaugural featherweight championship. The entire fight was spent mostly on the feet, with Banario winning most of the exchanges, but nothing too significant or too damaging, up until the the 4th round.
Kelly seemed intent on landing big, yet lower percentage power shots, opposed to Banario's more technical and measured approach. This has led to Banario landing more exchanges, and winning more on the ground. He looked like the the much bigger, and apparently also the more technical fighter through out the first few rounds.
Banario constantly landed that Wushu side kick, and it kept Kelly at bay for the most part, as he controlled the distance very well. Kelly kept throwing single power shots as opposed to combinations, and for most of the fight, he just couldn't land it much.
Midway through the 4th though. Banario landed with a left hook, and Kelly dropped down signaling that he got hurt in the eye. It looked like a closed fist rather than a finger to the eye, but nonetheless, it led to a very anti-climactic finish. I'm not sure if it is connected to this, but it is also worth mentioning, that just last December, Kelly also suffered a nasty eye injury on his last bout in the URCC.
It was still a good performance from Banario overall though. With the win, he improves his record to 8-1, and more importantly, this URCC champ claims yet another title as he became the inaugural featherweight champion of ONE FC.
Here are gifs courtesy of Zombie Prophet: