American grappling ace Danielle Kelly took home the inaugural ONE atomweight submission grappling world title last month and in the process became the de facto face of women’s jiu-jitsu. It is something that she is proud of but knows as well that entails a lot.
The 27-year-old Silver Fox BJJ standout became a ONE world champion at ONE Fight Night 14 on Prime Video on September 29 in Singapore after defeating longtime rival Jessa Khan by unanimous decision. It did come easy as her opponent proved to be a tough nut to crack but the Philadelphia-born Kelly was unrelenting in her push and eventually earned the nod of the judges in the end.
Following her victory, Danielle Kelly shared her thoughts on what winning the world title meant to her and what she expects moving forward, saying:
“This means that the next one’s not gonna be easy, I have to work really hard, but this means that I’m a warrior. Again I worked really hard for this and I’m a champion, and you know I’m just proud to be the face of ONE Championship’s atomweight submission grappling champion at the end and being the face of women’s jiu-jitsu.”
Check out Danielle Kelly’s interview below:
Apart from winning the ONE atomweight submission grappling world title, Danielle Kelly also exacted payback on Jessa Khan, who defeated her by decision in their first encounter in February 2021 in a no-gi event outside of ONE Championship in the United States. She said the defeat served as a great motivation for her in the last fight, pushing her to work on her game thoroughly.
The victory was also her third straight in ONE Championship. In her promotional debut in March last year, she settled for a draw against Japanese Mei Yamaguchi.
The replay of ONE Fight Night 14 is available on ONE Championship’s official YouTube page.