‘Didn’t Let The Noise Get To Me’ – Danielle Kelly Proud To Prove Doubters Wrong In World Title Win Over Jessa Khan
On September 29, the Philadelphia native put on a masterful display of tactics and technique to earn a hard-fought decision win over the ultra-talented Jessa Khan, capturing the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight Submission Grappling World Title in the process.
For Kelly, the victory avenged a 2021 defeat to Khan. And given that history, many considered her the underdog coming into their World Title rematch.
Overcome with emotion afterward, the newly crowned titleholder said she was able to ignore those expectations and perform at her best when it mattered the most.
Kelly told onefc.com:
“I can’t really describe how I feel, when you worked so hard for something, and there’s a lot of doubters and people saying you can’t do something, you know?
“I envisioned this, and I put it out there today. I didn’t let the noise get to me, you know? This is what I do, this is my job and I proved that I was the best today. I proved that I was better than Jessa Khan.”
The 27-year-old knows she’s now the torchbearer for women’s submission grappling at the highest level – a role she is happily embracing.
She also knows that as the new owner of 26 pounds of gold, she’ll face no shortage of dangerous contenders looking to dethrone her.
“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 I’m just proud to be the face of ONE Championship’s atomweight submission grappling division and the face of women’s jiu-jitsu.”
Kelly Credits Those Around Her For World Title Win
Danielle Kelly’s ONE Women’s Atomweight Submission Grappling World Title victory at ONE Fight Night 14 on Prime Video was no small feat, particularly considering her humble beginnings in the sport and her small, close-knit team.
Unlike Jessa Khan – who represents the famed Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy – Kelly doesn’t train at an internationally recognized gym filled with BJJ World Champions and legendary figures of the sport.
However, she does have a strong support system that believes in her and will stand by her side through thick and thin.
The Silver Fox BJJ representative added:
“It’s special because you know where I came from, I had nothing, especially a couple of years ago. I had no support, and her being from a big gym and they’re really well-known, it takes a team. It takes a really good team, and the right people in your corner to help you succeed.
“Because I felt before that I didn’t have that and being able to share this moment with the people I love who were there for me, to help me achieve this championship title, it’s a moment I’ll never forget.”