Danielle Kelly is a woman on a mission – and has put ONE’s female grapplers on notice that she is happy to go through all of them to reach her goal.
The Philadelphia native may only be two fights into her ONE career but has her sights firmly set on one thing – the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight Submission Grappling World Title.
Last time out the 27-year-old looked sensational in taking apart Sambo World Champion Mariia Molchanova, and now faces a different challenge in the form of Japanese judoka Ayaka Miura. Known for her takedowns and devastating top game, Miura will pose some very different questions to Molchanova – but Kelly is confident the answers will be the same.
“I’ll be submitting her,” she said. “I would like to get a choke. I think leglocks are starting to be overrated, but I mean, if I get a leg lock then I’ll just go for it, but I don’t want to just have tunnel vision on it.”
One of the most exciting fighters in the whole of female grappling, Kelly is still improving her arsenal and sees this weekend as another chance to take on an opponent who will test her ever-improving skillset.
“I’ve been working on my wrestling,” she said. “I’m trying to get back to that because I used to wrestle a lot. I don’t want to be just a guard puller. So if I go against her, I think it’d be a fun match. Because I know she’s a judo black belt. I think she does a lot of takedowns for MMA fights. So yeah, we’re figuring out her game.”
A second successive impressive win would be huge for Kelly, and give her the ammunition she needs to start dictating her own career path – as well as the fights she wants to put her on that road to gold. A grappler by heart, she says she has no desire to make the switch to MMA – and instead wants to make her mark on the strawweights around her.
“I want to win that women’s title for 115, for sure,” she added.
With a stunning takedown game, an ability to attack from all angles, and a gas tank for days, few would question her ability to reach that goal.
This weekend is the next step on the road to glory.
ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker v Andrade takes place Saturday February 25 4am GST at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Bangkok – you can watch it live on BeIN Sports Premium 1 . This is a night not to be missed so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App, and go to watch.onefc.com now!