ONE FC 7’s main event saw URCC 145 lb champion Eric Kelly battle the promotion’s lightweight titleholder Honorio Banario in front of those in attendance at the Putra Indoor Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The match-up would see the winner crowned ONE FC’s Inaugural Featherweight Champion.
Banario was able to control the opening stanza with superior striking as “The Natural” kept his feet planted, looking to counter while his countryman moved in and out and landed with frequency. Kelly was able connect a few times in the second stanza, but the range and speed of Banario continued to frustrate the MuayFit product.
By the third round, signs of “The Rock’s” tough weight cut began to show, but he was still very much in the fight. Kelly’s corner continued to harp on the diminishing volume of Honorio’s offense, but it did little to change the fact that “The Natural” couldn’t put together any sustained output.
It was the first of the championship rounds that would see the fight brought to an end. The Lakay MMA product crushed his opponent with a counter left hook. It took a second, but Kelly went down to the mat, pressing his eye after taking heavy damage from the shot. Referee Yuji Shimada halted the action at 1:01 of the fourth period, making Banario the first ONE FC Featherweight Champion.