Danielle Kelly defends Mikey Musumeci’s decision to pursue leglock finish of Gantumur Bayanduuren

Danielle Kelly (Left) defends Mikey Musumeci (Right) after his performance at ONE Fight Night 6
Danielle Kelly (Left) defends Mikey Musumeci (Right) after his performance at ONE Fight Night 6

Submission grappling standout Danielle Kelly has been quick to come to Mikey Musumeci’s defense following the events of ONE Fight Night 6 on Prime Video.

In the first defense of his ONE flyweight submission grappling world championship, Musumeci applied a submission hold to the legs of his opponent Gantumur Bayanduuren.

Unwilling to tap and end the contest in an instant, Bayanduuren relied on his toughness to stay in the submission for the majority of the match, suffering extensive injuries as a result.

In an interview with The MMA Superfan, Danielly Kelly urged fans to see the contest from Musumeci’s point of view:

“Everyone out there complaining, I don’t think they’re real competitors and they’re probably hypocritical because if they were in a big stage like that and the other person didn’t want to tap, you want to make sure you’re submitting your opponent to get your prize or win that match. Honestly, I haven’t seen anyone criticize Mikey for doing it, so I don’t know. But anyone giving him issues about it are just not real competitors.”

Watch the full interview below:


As Kelly mentions, Musumeci thankfully hasn’t been criticized for his actions. Instead, fighters and fans alike have heavily questioned Bayanduuren’s stubbornness, which rewarded him with heavy injuries.

Danielle Kelly shares the adversity she has had to face growing up

Submission grappler Danielle Kelly has had to walk a path to success that not many have ever trodden before her. The 27-year-old is one of the best competitors in her sport and is on her way to becoming a megastar in ONE Championship.

She is quick to remind herself, though, that this success was paid for in full. Not only does that mindset keep her humble, it reminds her that she has put hard work into getting here and did it through much more difficult conditions than she now finds herself in.

Danielle Kelly’s Instagram is a great source of inspiration for athletes of any kind, specifically women. Earlier this month, she posted this message, explaining how she keeps herself motivated:

“I didn’t have much support coming up. If I did it was very little. Being on my own for years I had to jumble school, work, and training while coming up in the ranks to catch up with people my level. And on top of all of these at a point I didn’t have a set place to stay. Whenever I’m frustrated at training I think about the worse times and how it made me feel. I basically tell myself to stop being a baby, it could be worse. I work hard now knowing the struggles I’ve had. There’s no “luck."

After securing her first submission win inside the circle at ONE on Prime Video 4, Danielle Kelly will return on February 24 to try to keep her momentum going.

At ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video, she will face Japanese MMA fighter and judo specialist Ayaka Miura. Kelly’s fight, and the rest of the stacked ONE Fight Night 7 card, is available live and for free to all Prime Video subscribers in North America.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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