Filipino featherweight Eric Kelly is impatiently waiting for a title shot after his Jadamba Narantungalag bout fell through earlier this year.
The Baguio City fighter was all set to take on the featherweight champion at ONE FC: Warrior’s Way at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on 5 December, but negotiations between Kelly's management and One FC broke down over undisclosed issues.
Kelly's manager Christian Gazmin of Tribal Submission reportedly declined to elaborate but Bagui Midland Courier reports he said the decision was for the good of concerned camps.
Kelly said: "I still hope to get the title shot by next year since I earned my right to fight for the belt. If it's God's will that I will get my shot next year, it will be an honor and a privilege on my part.
"Fighting in MMA is my passion and I want to be a world champion in this sport. I really hope all will be well someday."
The 32-year-old has a 11-1-0 record in MMA and many believe he is a favourite to take the belt based on his fight with Rob Lisita at ONE FC: War of Dragons on 11 July.
Kelly came from behind and managed to secure victory over Lisita with a naked choke in the second round. The damage he suffered in that fight meant he was not able to challenge for the belt.
Kelly is the only fighter in ONE FC who has won the $50,000 'warrior's bonus'.