Danielle Kelly will be taking on Ayaka Miura at ONE Fight Night 7 this weekend and it sounds like the BJJ black belt has been working on some new techniques. The Japanese fighter has challenged for the strawweight title in the past and will have a size advantage.

Kelly normally competes at atomweight but is moving up a few pounds in order to make this fight possible. The 27 year old believes she can finish the fight any  time she wants but it sounds like she has something special in store,

“I’m debating if I want to keep it a short match and submit it right away or make it fun but I’m going to be way lighter than her but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve.”


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Superior technique

Kelly has already faced one mixed martial artist from Japan. Her bout with Mei Yamaguchi went the distance and was declared a draw but she expects Miura to be more aggressive,

“I think she may be more technical and more engaging than Mei. Mei was very good at her defence.”

She is confident that her superior technique will compensate for the disparity in size,

“I’m lighter than her but I think my technique will be better. I just have to get her moving because she has a really good base.”


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Striking game

The biggest names in the sport of submission grappling are constantly being linked with potential MMA fights. It goes with the territory and Kelly admits she has been working on her striking game,

“I enjoy Muay Thai, I’ve been training Muay Thai for four years I just never really got a fight or anything.”

But it sounds like she sees Muay Thai as more of a hobby,

“I’m focusing in jiu jitsu right now, for not it’s just jiu jitsu.”

Miura is a keylock specialist who has submitted numerous opponents with the americana. Kelly respects that but thins she is made of a different mettle,

“It’s cool that she submits these girls with the same move. The other girls can’t stop it but my defence is better.”


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Very confident

Kelly is a pioneer who is helping raise the profile of submission grappling by competing on more conventional fight cards. But she knows her history and talked about her respect for another trailblazer who helped break down barriers for female fighters.

When asked who she looked up to during her formative years there was one name that immediately sprang to Kelly’s mind,

“Ronda Rousey. I liked her mindset when she was training for fights and she brought women’s MMA into the mainstream.”

It is clear that Kelly feels a responsibility to entertain. It is not enough for her to just win fights but she is very confident she will be able to do both at ONE Fight Night 7,

“I’m looking forwards to putting on a fun show. If I use my technique right her size won’t matter.”