Silver Fox black belt Danielle Kelly has just signed the first professional MMA contract of her career with Asian promotion ONE FC. Kelly is one of the top female grapplers in the world at the lighter weightclasses and is still very early on in her athletic prime as well. She’s already had a taste of what it feels like to compete against elite MMA stars as well, as she recently managed to defeat former UFC Strawweight world champion Carla Esparza at Fury Pro Grappling 3. While she’s definitely more than capable of keeping up with the best grapplers on the planet, it remains to be seen how Kelly will fare standing and very little is known of her striking capability.
She’s been developing her striking game ready for her eventual MMA debut for some time and she’s openly displayed her confidence in the past, saying that she’ll take on anyone at 115lbs. She’ll also be relocating temporarily to the Evolve MMA headquarters in Singapore in advance of her MMA debut, which will no doubt help her improve in all areas before she ever actually sets foot in the cage for the first time. She should be in safe hands too, as ONE FC have made a history of signing top-tier BJJ talent and being able to develop them into great MMA fighters all round.
Garry Tonon was one of the first big names that the promotion signed and after allowing him to grow and steadily improve the calibre of his opponents, he’s now challenging for the ONE FC Featherweight world title. They also signed Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida and he’s already managed to move to 2-0 in his professional career just a matter of months after making his debut. Things aren’t always guaranteed to go well of course, no matter how much experience ONE FC have with matching up debuting BJJ stars, Two-time ADCC world champion Yuri Simoes couldn’t get his gameplan going in his professional debut and ended up losing to Fan Rong.
The news that Danielle Kelly had signed her first professional MMA contract with ONE FC was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: