Being a decorated BJJ black belt like Danielle Kelly brings a certain sense of confidence. That is clearly the case with the 27 year old who takes on veteran mixed martial artist Ayaka Miura in Bangkok this Saturday.

Miura is a former strawweight title challenger and holds a black belt in judo. But Kelly is in no doubt what the outcome of the contest at ONE Fight Night 7 will be,

I’ll be submitting her. I would like to get a choke.

Not fussy

However Kelly is not particularly fussy about exactly which method she uses to finish the Japanese veteran. The submission specialist says she has plenty of other weapons in her arsenal,

I think leglocks are starting to be overrated but if I get a leg lock then I’ll just go for it.

Kelly has not just been working on her submission grappling game. She wrestled in high school and has been going back to her roots with some recent training.

Without having to worry about being on the receiving end of strikes some of the top submission grapplers on the ONE Championship roster will elect to pull guard but it is not something Kelly wants to get a reputation for,

I’ve been working on my wrestling. 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.


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Figuring it out

She faced a Japanese mixed martial artist on her ONE Championship debut. Mei Yamaguchi was in defensive mode throughout that contest but managed to survive long  enough to claim a draw.

Kelly was clearly disappointed not to get the submission although she did earn a $50,00 USD performance bonus for relentlessly trying to do so. It sounds like the American has higher expectations for her bout with Miura,

I think it will 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.

Their catchweight contest takes place at Lumpinee Stadium on Saturday morning (local time). But while Kelly is moving up a few pounds to make this match possible she still feels her home is in the atomweight division.

Kelly has made it clear she want to prove that the lightest fighters can be just as much fun to watch. The 27 year old has her eyes on the prize in that weight class and knows what she wants to achieve in 2023,

I want to win that women’s title for 115, for sure.