Danielle Kelly defeats Jessa Khan to capture ONE submission grappling world title

At ONE Fight Night 14, Danielle Kelly earned a decision win over Jessa Khan to capture the ONE atomweight submission grappling belt.

Danielle Kelly is finally a ONE submission grappling world champion.

On Friday, September 29, at ONE Fight Night 14, Kelly avenged a 2021 loss to current IBJJF world champion Jessa Khan to claim the inaugural ONE atomweight submission grappling world title.

Kelly, competing in her fourth ONE match, utilized the cage wall well over the course of the 10-minute submission-only contest, pressuring Khan against the fence while stifling her attacks.

Around four minutes in, though, Khan mounted some significant offense, as she was able to sweep Kelly and quickly take her back. Unfortunately for the Art of Jiu-Jitsu representative, that dominant position would not lead to any serious submission threats and Kelly was able to escape relatively quickly. 

Kelly would capitalize on the escape and jump on kneebar/toehold attempt that was ruled a catch.

Under ONE’s submission grappling rules, the number of catches – legitimate submission threats – is the primary scoring criterion.

After escaping the leg lock attempt, Khan would attack at a high pace, hunting Kelly’s back and dropping back on a straight ankle lock of her own in the final seconds. None of those attacks resulted in a catch, though.

Ultimately, Kelly walked away with the victory having earned one catch to none.

The Philadelphia native is now the ONE atomweight submission grappling world champion and undefeated across four ONE matches. 

While it’s not clear who her first title challenger might be, a potential matchup against former foe Tammi Musumeci – who is undefeated in two ONE bouts and has said she can make the atomweight limit – would make plenty of sense.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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