Danielle Kelly Wants Rematch With Jessa Khan After Hard-Fought Win Over Ayaka Miura At ONE Fight Night 7
BJJ sensation Danielle Kelly is now undefeated across three thrilling submission grappling bouts in ONE Championship.
Last Friday at ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II, the American earned a tough decision over MMA star and judo black belt Ayaka Miura at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
In what was undoubtedly her stiffest test in ONE to date, Kelly utilized her top-level technique to overcome her opponent’s size and strength advantages en route to victory.
The Philadelphia-bred grappler came into the matchup well aware of her foe’s trademark scarf-hold Americana – also known as the “Ayaka Lock.”
During the 10-minute encounter, Kelly defended several deep attempts at the submission while successfully countering by taking Miura’s back on multiple occasions.
Afterward, she credited her training and preparation for escaping the feared technique:
“[Miura] kept getting that headlock with the armbar, but me and my coaches, we just kept doing that position. I’m putting myself in really the same position that she’s really good at. I kept trying to take her back. I kept attacking her neck.”
It makes sense that Kelly spent plenty of time preparing for the scarf-hold Americana, as “Zombie” has earned all four of her ONE victories using that specific attack.
And now that she’s experienced the “Ayaka Lock” firsthand, the BJJ black belt was very complimentary of the Japanese veteran.
“Every time [Miura] gets to that position, she’s trained it like a hundred times, so she was able to just get there and keep staying at her base. She’s really good at what she does, but I kept countering and attacking her.”
Above all, Kelly was glad she walked out of the ring a winner, but she still wasn’t satisfied with her performance.
A world-class submission hunter, the American wants to secure the finish each and every time she competes, and that left her with some disappointment.
“Obviously, I’m not too happy. I really tried to go for a submission. I’m going to be kind of hard on myself.”
Kelly Continues To Aim For Submission Grappling Gold
After another big win on ONE’s global stage, Danielle Kelly is looking to challenge herself against BJJ’s best.
When asked who she’d like to battle next, the grappling superstar had one name in mind – IBJJF Pan American Champion Jessa Khan. The two elite competitors have met previously, with Khan earning the win via decision.
Kelly badly wants that rematch – not only to even the score, but also because after facing MMA, sambo, and judo specialists in recent outings, she wants to test herself against a fellow elite BJJ stylist:
“I mentioned Jessa, just because I know she signed with ONE.
“I had history with her about two years ago, and I felt like I wasn’t really a hundred percent, and I feel like I could compete with other jiu-jitsu people. It’s what I’m used to. It’s more flowy, and we’re the same weight [atomweight]. I’m motivated to get back because I’ve been working hard to get that match and work harder on myself.”
With big goals in mind, Kelly has been working hard in the training room and showing notable improvements since her 2021 loss to Khan.
She hopes to display those gains in a rematch and continue her march toward a historic ONE Submission Grappling World Title.
The 27-year-old added:
“It’s really important. I want to prove to myself that I’ve gotten better. I just want to prove myself, and I want that one back. Yeah, I don’t know. I really want that one back, that’s all I can say, and just prove that I belong here, and now I’m going to win that title.”