“I’ve been focused on legit grapplers” - Danielle Kelly takes slight jab at Angela Lee at press conference

Danielle Kelly (left) and Angela Lee (right) [Photo Credits: ONE Championship]
Danielle Kelly (left) and Angela Lee (right) [Photo Credits: ONE Championship]

Women’s submission grappling sensation Danielle Kelly signed with ONE Championship in February 2022. Two months later, she made her highly-anticipated debut at the promotion’s 10th-anniversary pay-per-view, ONE X, where she dominated Japanese combat sports icon Mei Yamaguchi.

Though she was unable to finish Yamaguchi, her dominant performance throughout the 12-minute contest earned her a USD $50,000 bonus.

To help ONE Championship usher in a new era, Kelly appeared at the ONE Championship x Amazon Prime press conference on Wednesday night. Live from Los Angeles, Kelly answered questions from the press on hand. When asked how she was feeling about being on such a big stage, Kelly said:

“I’m a little cold and shaky, but it feels pretty good because everyone is really talented and, you know, it feels good.”

Since her spectacular debut in April, Kelly has teased a potential move to mixed martial arts at some point in her career. The grappling superstar was asked if that was still the plan given the expansion of submission grappling in ONE Championship.

“It’s definitely a possibility, but I want to be comfortable first. I also feel like I need to accomplish more in jiu-jitsu. I want to challenge myself and if that time comes, it’ll come.”

Kelly was also asked about a potential submission grappling match with ONE atomweight world champion Angela Lee. In the past, the two have expressed an interest in facing one another in the circle. When asked if she had discussed a grappling contest with Lee directly, Kelly responded by saying:

“I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but I’m a jiu-jitsu person so I’ve been focused on legit grapplers, but if they want to give me that match, I’ll take it in a heartbeat.”

Angela Lee is confident in her ability to beat grappling machine Danielle Kelly

Danielle Kelly’s comments during the ONE Championship x Amazon Prime press conference got a rise out of those in attendance. Unfortunately, Angela Lee was not given the opportunity to respond to Kelly’s “legit grapplers” comment, but the champion had a very clear smirk on her face.

Previously, the women’s atomweight queen confirmed her willingness to meet Kelly in the circle and was more than confident that she would not only compete with Kelly, but that she would also submit her in a grappling showdown.

“I see it ending in me submitting her. For me, I mean, I’ve been fighting for a while now. And obviously, you hope for the best-case scenario. But one thing that I trust in myself is I always get the job done – and it doesn’t matter what amount of time it’ll take, but [it will] definitely [happen] before the round ends.”

Danielle Kelly snapped back at Lee on Instagram, posting a screenshot of Lee’s quote with the caption:

“Some comedy for today.”

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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