Danielle Kelly Praises Ayaka Miura but Promises to Surprise Her at ONE Fight Night 7: “I Have a Few Tricks Up My Sleeve”

Published 02/22/2023, 4:42 AM EST

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Danielle Kelly‘s array of submissions, back takes, sweeps, and escapes have consistently been on display since her debut in ONE Championship last year.

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But the American grappling sensation promises to show off other areas of her well-rounded arsenal when she takes on Ayaka “Zombie” Miura at ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II on Prime Video this Friday, February 24. 

Kelly will, of course, rely on her experienced skill set to stretch her unbeaten run inside the Circle to three.

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But the Silver Fox BJJ upstart has been toying around with whether she should instantly hunt for a match-winning submission or hold back to let the fans enjoy the battle a little longer.

Speaking ahead of her promotional return, she said:

“I’m just debating with myself if I want to keep the match short. Just submit her right away or make it fun. But, you know, I’m going to be way lighter than her, so I don’t know if I want to play with her too much.”

“She’s really good. She’s strong at what she does. Yeah, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.”

It’s going to be a tough fight

Whatever she has planned for Miura, submission grappling fans will keep their eyes glued on her world-class ground game techniques.

Though she might seem like a leg lock specialist, with many of her victories coming via lower-body submissions, Kelly does, in fact, have a plethora of other submissions, including ankle locks, kneebars, and heel hooks.

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“Zombie” will have her work cut out to keep Kelly’s wizardry at bay in Bangkok, but the Japanese athlete is not short of knowledge in that area either. 

She can pull into guard effectively and be a hassle when she’s secured top mount. 

Danielle Kelly is confident with her skills

Apart from that, one of the most dangerous strengths within Miura’s arsenal is her trademark “Ayaka Lock” – something that has caught Kelly’s eye.

The 27-year-old star isn’t going to risk her chance of victory by being on the receiving end of it, and she credits her upcoming foe’s skills overall.

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However, she is confident her ability to escape and counter will give her the upper hand in the end. 

Kelly shared:

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“Yeah, for sure [I know she can hunt for submissions]. And from that position, she goes for a Kimura or a head and arm triangle choke. She does it pretty well, and the other girls can’t stop it.”

“But I feel like my defense is better, and I feel like I can scramble out a lot of stuff. So it’ll be interesting, but I definitely don’t want to be in a position to find out.”

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Written by:

Mayur Soni

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Mayur Soni is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. His interest in the UFC heightened when he first saw his favorite fighter Conor McGregor knockout Jose Aldo in mere 13 seconds, in 2015. He thus got hooked on the sport.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu

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