Danielle Kelly - Atomweight Submission Grappling World Champion

Danielle Kelly - Atomweight Submission Grappling World Champion

1. Danielle Kelly’s Details

Danielle Kelly’s Details

Name Danielle Kelly
Nickname N/A
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, America
Date of Birth December 4, 1995
Weight Division Strawweight
Last Weigh-in N/A
Height 5'5" (165cm)
College N/A
Rank 1st Degree Black Belt
Last Fight        2023 The ONE Atomweight Submission Grappling
Favorite Position Rear Naked Choke
Head Coach Karel Pravec
Lineage N/A
Fighting out of Saddlebrook, New Jersey
Team Association Silver Fox BJJ

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2. Danielle Kelly’s Biography

Danielle Kelly is one of the top prominent figures in the world of jiu-jitsu. She gained fame as the Inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight Submission Grappling World Champion. Her physical attributes helped her to get prominence in BJJ. She was 5 feet and 4 inches and her weight of 114 pounds also assisted her in showcasing her incredible grappling skills on the BJJ mats. She often gained an advantage due to her stature.

2.1. Danielle’s Early Life

Danielle Kelly first started her jiu-jitsu training in 1997 and at that time, she was just 11 years old. She had an innate love for athletics, so she wanted to become a pro grappler. Danielle Kelly had a strong belief that grappling is extremely significant in defeating the larger and stronger opponents. Kelly first takes down the boys in her first-ever sparring class. In her initial BJJ training, she learned the Rear Naked Choke and then successfully applied that in her various battles. Kelly’s training period was extremely short and she participated in her first tournament after 4 months of her training. Kelly was extremely passionate so she also joined the wrestling in her school time. As she was the only female at that time, initially she was not encouraged as a team member. She also faced discouraging behavior in her high school but she never lost his courage and considered all hardships as the best way to learn the BJJ in a commendable way.

“So, I feel like jiu-jitsu, even just working out in general has given me a lot of confidence and helped my self-esteem,”

Kelly had a 5-year-old deaf dog pet, Griffith. She loves her pet and feels pleasure in spending quality time with his dog after returning from training sessions. As she said:

“When I like to come home from a long training session, he’s there, my buddy, like, he helps me relax, we watch jiu-jitsu matches together (laughs). I get made fun of by people who think it’s weird, but it’s just how I meditate. But, the week of my match, I’ll either watch a lot of anime, like Avatar, or something like exciting anime shows or horror movies where someone, it’s like gore and blood… I’m kinda crazy so that’s what keeps me content.”

2.2. Danielle’s Achievements

Danielle Kelly secured various winning titles in different championships such as ONE Women's Atomweight Submission Grappling World Champion, Performance of the Night, Rise Invitational 3 125 lbs Championship, and SHP 130 lbs No Gi Champion.

2.3. Danielle’s Coaching at Evolve Mixed Martial Arts

Danielle Kelly is currently serving at Evolve Mixed Martial Arts Institute located in Singapore. Kelly is considered the most important part of the Evolve Instructor Team which is recognized as Asia’s largest team with a great range of professionals. Evolve has been producing various top athletes by winning various tournaments in Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai. The environment of Evolve Mixed Martial Arts is extremely productive as students learn the basics of martial arts under the supervision of the world’s top Professional grapplers. Students not only learn martial arts but also gain self-confidence and strength, They learn to apply the best grappling strategies and the smart ways that they can implement self-defense techniques in the real world. Due to all the significant features, Evolve is ranked as the top grappling academy in the era of martial arts.

2.4. Danielle’s Training with Top Practitioners

Danielle Kelly is one of the top grapplers who learned advanced BJJ skills by training with top jiu-jitsu grapplers. She was not only trained with professionals but also defeated them in various BJJ competitions. A few top veterans against whom she competed include Cynthia Calvillo, Carla Esparza Roxanne Modafferi, etc. Once in an interview, she said:

“Yeah, I’ve been training with a lot of high-level people. I’ve trained at Underground Arts that are in South Jersey, Silver Fox, and Black Hole [Jiu Jitsu] up in New York. Kind of like those three places, then obviously here [Droogs MMA and Jiu Jitsu]. More so, South Jersey, that’s where most of the girls are at.”

2.5. Daniele Kelly’s Debut in Who's Number One

On 26 February 2021, Kelly made her first debut for Who's Number One. After competing against Jessa Khan and Jessica Crane, she participated in the Women's Strawweight division of the Who's Number One Championships.

2.6.  ONE Atomweight Submission Grappling Champion

On 30 September 2023, Danielle Kelly faced Jessa Khan in a rematch for the inaugural ONE Women's Atomweight Submission Grappling World Championship. After successfully winning the fight, Kelly became the promotion's first female submission grappling world champion.

2.7. Danielle Kelly’s Motivation

Kelly got immense support from both of her parents but unfortunately, she lost them in her adult age. Kelly considered their parents as her source of motivation and competed in every fight by thinking that she had to win to make her parents proud.

2.8. Danielle’s Training Routine

She used to perform the perfect combination of both strength and conditioning exercises. She also worked on her drilling techniques in all her sparring sessions. She just wanted to showcase her phenomenal grappling skills in all top jiu-jitsu tournaments.

3. Danielle Kelly’s Top Historic Fights

3.1. Danielle Kelly vs Jessa Khan

In 2023, Inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight Submission Grappling World Championship, Danielle Kelly faced Jessa Khan. That was a tough battle with her longtime rival Jessa Khan. Kelly jumped onto a Khan with a combination of kneebar and toehold techniques to secure the first catch of the match. After attempting the successful leg lock technique, Kelly earned the biggest win of her impressive career.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2023 ONE Women’s Atomweight Submission Grappling Jessa Khan Win Leg Lock N/A Strawweight

3.2. Danielle Kelly vs. Mariia Molchanova

In the 2022 ONE Fight Night 4 Championship, Danielle Kelly competed against Mariia Molchanova. Both competitors tried hard for submission but within the last few minutes, Kelly secured the victory by applying the Rear Naked Choke Technique.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2022 ONE Fight Night 4 Mariia Molchanova Win Rear Naked Choke N/A N/A

3.3. Danielle Kelly vs. Mei Yamaguchi

In the 2022 ONE Championship, Danielle Kelly faced the Japanese MMA veteran Mei Yamaguchi. But the match was drawn based on the Referee’s Decision.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2022 ONE Championship Mei Yamaguchi Draw Decision N/A Strawweight

4. Danielle Kelly’s BJJ Professional Record Breakdown

Matches Wins Losses
By Points 1 0
By Submission 12 3
By Decision 3 4
By Draw 2

4.1.  Methods of Submission W/L

Methods Wins Losses
Leg Lock 1 0
Rear Naked Choke 2 0
Heel Hook 2 0
Arm Lock 0 2
Toe Hold 1 0
Kneebar 2 0

5. Danielle Kelly’s BJJ Fight History

Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
Ayaka “Zombie” Miura W Decision One Fight Night 7 N/A N/A 2023
Jessa Khan W Leg Lock ONE Vacant Strawweight Championship Strawweight N/A 2023
Ayaka Miura W Decision ONE Fight Night 7 Catchweight N/A 2023
Mei Yamaguchi D Other One FCX Absolute Division N/A 20222
Mariia Molchanova W Rear Naked Choke ONE Fight Night 4 Strawweight N/A 20222
Mei Yamaguchi D Decision ONE Championship Strawweight N/A  
Carla Esparza W Injury Fury Pro 3 Absolute Division N/A 2021
Alexa Yanes L Decision UFC Fight Pass Invitational Absolute Division N/A 2021
Grace Gundrum L Decision Flograppling WNO Championship 115lbs N/A 2021
Jessie Crane W Heel Hook Flograppling WNO Championship 115lbs N/A 2021
Sofia Amarante W Rear Naked Choke Strawweight N/A R1 2021
Tammi Musumeci L Armlock Flograppling WNO Championship 115lbs N/A 2021
Jessie Crane W Kneebar WNO:Craig Jones vs Tye Ruotolo 115lbs N/A 2021
Carla Esparza W Doctor Stoppage Cut Fury Pro Grappling 3 N/A R1 2021
Jessa Khan L Decision WNO:Craig Jones vs Ronaldo Junior N/A N/A 2021
Alexa Yanes L Decision UFC Fight Pass Invitational Flyweight N/A 2021
Cathryn Millares W Decision Fury Pro Grappling 2 Strawweight N/A 2021
Tammi Musumeci L ArmLock FloGrappling WNO Championship Tammi Musumeci N/A 2021
Nicole Sullivan L Other IBJJF San Jose Open No Gi N/A N/A 2020
Roxanne Modafferi W Toe Hold Submission Hunter Pro N/A N/A 2020
Cynthia Calvillo W Ankle Lock Quintet Ultra N/A N/A 2019
B.Way W OT Substars at the Tank 2 N/A N/A 2019
Mariuxi Llaguno W OT Takedown JitzKing Tampa 125lbs N/A 2019
Alison Stiegler W Other ADCC West Coast Trials 60 Kg N/A 2019
Nicole Sullivan L Other ADCC West Coast Trials 60 Kg N/A 2019
Jillian DeCoursey W Kneebar Rise Invitational 8 115 lbs R1 2019
Jessica Buchman W Other ADCC West Coast Trials 60 Kg N/A 2019
Mariuxi Llaguno W Points JitzKing Tampa 125 lbs N/A 2019
B.Burns W Heel Hook Fight 2 Win Pro 81 115lbs N/A 2018
Rikako Yuasa L OT Pan Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship 125lbs N/A 2014
Lila Smadja W OT Pan Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship 125lbs N/A 2014

6. Danielle Kelly’s Top Fights

FASTEST submission in women's WNO history 😮 Jessica Crane vs. Danielle Kelly

Mei Yamaguchi vs. Danielle Kelly | ONE Championship Full Fight

She’s A Beauty & A Beast 😍😈 Danielle Kelly’s Next-Level Grappling

Danielle Kelly vs. Mariia Molchanova | ONE Championship Full Fight

Photo Credit: @daniellekellybjj

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