Ayaka Miura is as experienced as it comes when it comes to grappling in MMA. But the Japanese fighter is entering a different world in Bangkok this Saturday.
She is stepping into opponent Danielle Kelly’s world at ONE Fight Night 7. The American is a BJJ black belt who competes exclusively in submission grappling and that will be the ruleset for this catchweight contest.
But despite her opponent’s reputation Miura does not think that Kelly brings anything ‘special’ to the table,
“Danielle Kelly doesn’t have any special techniques because all her skill is at a high level, but that means she doesn’t have a specialty. I think my physical strength and the judo skills I use in MMA are better than Danielle’s, and I can show it in this grappling match.”
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Miura definitely does have a specialty. Six of her 11 wins in MMA have come via some sort of lock with the americana being the 32 year old’s trademark submission.
She thinks the BJJ black belt will need to ‘watch out’ for if she doesn’t want to find herself tapping to that submission,
“Danielle Kelly will watch out for my lock the one that everyone saw in the past fights. But you know, I’m training other techniques and other finishing techniques, or maybe I will showcase another side of Ayaka. I just want everyone to enjoy this fight.”
But Miura is not just focused on the outcome of her match which will take place on Saturday morning (local time) in Bangkok. She thinks the process of preparing for this contest will have a positive impact on her MMA career,
“This grappling match is important for me because of this fight camp. I am able to focus on my ground game. This will lead to a huge improvement for me in MMA as well. So for now, I really want to enjoy this grappling match. I just want to take it as something positive.”
Flow with it 🌊 Judo black belt Ayaka Miura meets American BJJ star Danielle Kelly in a submission grappling match at ONE Fight Night 7!#ONEFightNight7 #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/Kf1B9pj2uG
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 10, 2023
But despite being confident in her own submission game the Japanese fighter is well aware of the threat which Kelly poses. Her compatriot, Mei Yamaguchi, was able to survive a ten minute round with the American but was in survival mode for most of it.
Miura competes in a higher weight class than Yamaguchi and has more submission wins on her MMA record. But it sounds like she is ready to weather a storm and expects to be fighting off constant submission attempts from Kelly,
“Knowing Danielle Kelly is an all-rounder, I must be careful about everything. So I am training. I am training for a lot of defense in this fight camp.”