The top end of the ONE Fight Night 14 card consists exclusively of female fighters. Jessa Khan will be making her debut and is proud to be part of an event that is breaking numerous barriers.
For the first time a female submission grappling champion will be crowned by ONE Championship. The flyweight title is at stake when Khan takes on Danielle Kelly and the former promises to ‘put on a show’,
“This is the first time we’re having a title match for women’s Jiu-Jitsu, and I think me, and Danielle are going to put on a great show.”
Of course she wants to win the belt but Khan is also hoping to inspire young girls to start learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu,
“This is part of history and I hope that one of us can do a great job getting the title and it’s just a stepping stone for other girls doing Jiu-Jitsu and I hope that the sport keeps growing, that ONE’s platform keeps growing so that any other girls watching our fight on Friday soon inspires them to be a part of ONE and soon they’ll also have that opportunity to be a part of the stage.”
Danielle Kelly and Jessa Khan run it back for the inaugural ONE Atomweight Submission Grappling World Title! 🏆 Who you got?#ONEFightNight14 | Friday at 8PM ET
🇺🇸🇨🇦 Watch live on Prime 👉 https://t.co/Il4tPmkkmj
🌍 Live TV broadcast in 190+ countries (check local listings) pic.twitter.com/vTvnLvlHcC
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 28, 2023
Earlier this year Khan won gold at the IBJJF world championships. She has also been representing Cambodia at international competitions which would explain why her ONE Championship debut has been delayed.
But even though she hasn’t been competing for the promotion it sounds like Khan has been following the ONE Championship events very closely,
“I think ONE Championship is doing a great job. Not only promoting Jiu-Jitsu but also promoting other martial arts and I’m very happy to see that they’re putting on a platform for women in general and I love that there’s a bunch of women coming together doing the sport that they love and performing for all the fans. I think it’s only going to grow.”
While women have been training and competing in combat sport for decades opportunities to headline events in major venues have been limited. Seo Hee Ham faces Stamp Fairtex in the headliner at ONE Fight Night 14 which is set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Khan sees this as a sign of progress,
“I feel like now women are starting to get more recognized for all their hard work and getting more opportunities in general.”
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Competitor and coach
As well as a competitor she is also a coach. Khan has played a role in the growth of the sport and hopes that being able to compete on ONE Championship cards will not just raise her profile but help to grow the sport itself,
“Jiu-Jitsu in America is really evolving and there’s a lot more high-level competitors and I hope that everyone watching gets inspired and that Jiu-Jitsu continues to grow all around the world.”
Of course she wants to win the title. The incredible success which Khan has enjoyed this year only seems to have made the 21 year old hungry for more.
But Khan also wants to be a role model for young girls just starting out in the sport. She already works hard at the grass roots level with her coaching but wants to also put on the type of bout that will inspire a young generation of female grapplers,
“This will go down in history. One of us will come out with the win and get that title. It’s going to be great because it’s just helping the next generation especially for women’s Jiu-Jitsu. I think this is a stepping stone for women’s Jiu-Jitsu. Eventually I hope to see other little girls, those that I teach for example, get this opportunity.”