Danielle Kelly wants to be the first ONE women’s submission grappling world champion

[Photo Credit: ONE Championship] Danielle Kelly
[Photo Credit: ONE Championship] Danielle Kelly

Danielle Kelly wants to make history in ONE Championship. In 2022, ONE crowned two inaugural submission grappling world champions. Lightweight king Kade Ruotolo and flyweight world titleholder Mikey Musumeci.

Seeing Ruotolo and Musumeci adorned in ONE gold, American grappling ace Danielle Kelly wants the very same. In an interview with ONE Championship, she outlined her goals for 2023. She explained:

"My New Year’s resolution for next year is to hopefully compete a lot and win the women’s, hopefully first, ONE Championship title for jiu-jitsu. I’m working hard for it."

Kelly can't quite begin sizing for new belts yet as she has a challenging submission grappling match ahead of her. MMA fighter, Judo black belt, and former ONE women’s strawweight world title challenger, Ayaka Miura will be looking to stop Kelly from reaching her goals. The two grapplers are booked for a showdown at ONE Fight Night 7 on Prime Video this February.

Danielle Kelly is coming for ONE gold

The 27-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert made her ONE debut in March of 2022 against MMA veteran Mei Yamaguchi. While it ended in a draw, Kelly was still awarded a $50,000 performance bonus for her work in the ONE circle.

Kelly's second match in ONE Championship was against Russian-born sambo world champion Mariia Molchanova. The US-born athlete submitted her opponent in under three minutes. In this submission grappling match, Kelly also netted a $50,000 performance bonus.

Her third ONE Championship submission grappling match is upcoming. At ONE Fight Night 7 she will face a stiff test against the Japanese submission specialist Ayaka Miura. After this match, Kelly wants ONE Championship to introduce a women's grappling world title for her weight division.

In an interview with ONE Championship, Danielle Kelly explained:

"I want to win that women’s World Title for 115 [pounds], for sure ... If ONE would do a women’s World Title, I would love to go against Jessa Khan. People think I’m dodging jiu-jitsu people, but I’ve been studying her, so I hope I get that match.”

Jessa Khan is a 21-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert. She recently earned first place in the IBJJF Pan Championship as a black belt and holds many other world titles to her name. Khan was set to make her ONE debut in July but the bout was unfortunately canceled. Danielle Kelly has her eyes on her and wants the match.

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