Danielle Kelly will be looking to avenge her 2021 loss to Jessa Khan at ONE Fight Night 14 this month. The first meeting between the two might have happened just two years ago but a lot has changed since then.

Kelly is now an experienced BJJ black belt and a ONE Championship veteran. Heading into the first bout with Khan she admits that her mentality was all wrong,

“I was too much into the media. I was too much into like, ‘I’m really like, nervous. I’m nervous to like go against a high-level grappler’ and I guess she was one of the first few that I went against. Now my mindset is really different.”


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Way ahead

While Khan is making her long awaited ONE Championship Debut Kelly has already competed three times for the promotion. Two of those bouts have taken place in the Singapore Indoor Stadium where they will rematch on September 29th.

So she knows the venue well and the 27 year old is also extremely familiar with her opponent,

“I feel like I know her game really well. My exchanges, my defense, my offense is gonna be way ahead of her and whatever she gives me, you know, I’m gonna give her something back. I train with really tough people, really tough girls. I have an idea what she’s gonna throw at me, and I’ll be ready. I think she’s kind of the same as last time, so we’ll see.”


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Underdog status

Khan won gold at the IBJJF World Championships earlier this year. While the format for this match will be very different it is an achievement that everyone in the submission grappling world is aware of.

Given the success her opponent has had Kelly admits she comes into this contest as the underdog,

“I feel like I train with the best, and I’m gonna prove that you don’t have to be a world champion to be better than anyone else. You don’t have to have a bunch of titles. She’s probably the favorite in this match, and I’m gonna prove that you know, I’m not a World Champ, but I think I can submit her. She’s beatable. So that’s what I’m gonna prove.”

In 2021 Khan was submitted by Grace Gundrum who caught her with a twister. We have seen Angela Lee pull off this finish in an MMA fight and Kelly would like to follow in her footsteps,

“I really want a twister because I know she got twistered before, so I’d really like to do that.”

Kelly has been the distance in two of her previous three ONE Championship bouts. None of those opponents have Khan’s credentials but she believes she will finish the newly crowned world champion and sees the bout ending one of two ways,

“The first grappling match to pull off a twister on her or, you know, take her back and choke her out. One of the two.”