‘Surround Yourself With People Who Love And Support You’ – How Danielle Kelly Overcame Her Darkest Days

Danielle Kelly stands in the ring at ONE Fight Night 7

This Friday, September 29, elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Danielle Kelly will look to make history when she squares off with heated rival Jessa Khan for the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight Submission Grappling World Title.

Set for ONE Fight Night 14: Stamp vs. Ham on Prime Video and airing live in U.S. primetime from the Singapore Indoor Stadium, that showdown represents the pinnacle of Kelly’s competitive career.

However, life hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Philadelphia native.

Before she was a submission grappling superstar and undefeated in a trio of ONE matches, Kelly faced her own set of challenges – from bullying in school to the tragic loss of both her parents.

Now in the final preparations for her World Title clash with Khan, the 27-year-old spoke to onefc.com about how she persevered through those difficult times and offered advice to those facing similar struggles:

“Surround yourself with people who love and support you, who want to see you succeed. I think that helped me a lot when I was going through a really, really tough time, it all mattered. It all came down to who was really there for me to help put me back on my feet.”

When the young grappler found herself in dark moments, she turned to jiu-jitsu and those who believed in her potential to become a World Champion.

At the same time, her journey to the highest levels of the sport wasn’t without hiccups.

Kelly is quick to admit that she’s been far from perfect throughout her career. The key to her success, she says, is constant improvement and finding the right people to push her forward:

“Everyone struggles. I made some mistakes over my life, but I made steps to getting better and improving myself. I think just starting to keep yourself busy and be around those who love you and want to help you, you will go further in life. 

“Take it from me because I made a lot of mistakes coming up. But you know, here I am. So hopefully, I’m the example that people can see.”

Kelly Embracing The Opportunity Of A Lifetime Against Jessa Khan

Danielle Kelly will soon have the chance to inspire others on a global scale.

Her matchup against Jessa Khan – the first-ever Women’s Submission Grappling World Title bout in ONE – is an opportunity to showcase her ever-evolving submission game and etch her name in the history books.

It’s a moment the American doesn’t take for granted, well aware that a victory over the reigning IBJJF World Champion would secure her place atop the BJJ food chain.

Kelly added:

“I feel really grateful and honored that I have the opportunity to go for the title. I feel like I worked really hard for it. I feel like, you know, this is my time to really prove myself and stamp my jiu-jitsu accomplishments, and prove that I really belong here.”

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