The race for Female Athlete of the Year is tightening up in the home stretch of 2021, but Danielle Kelly isn’t stressing at all.
The 26-year-old BJJ phenom made her UFC FIGHT PASS debut at EBI 18 and hasn’t cooled off since. With victories over Roxanne Modafferi, Cynthia Calvillo and many others, she has found herself to be a staple in the BJJ portion of UFC FIGHT PASS live events.
“When I go out there, I put on a good show,” Kelly said. “I’m always hunting for the submission.”
Early in her career, Kelly has discovered the perfect balance of aggression and strategy and it’s led her to the top of the heap. It’s this exact formula that has led Kelly to piece together when to be aggressive, flashy and entertaining, and when to roll conservatively.
If you’re staring down the barrel of BJJ monsters, Kelly’s got the tools to wisely secure wins, and when she’s on the mat with big name UFC talent, it’s showtime. Kelly might even be able to call her shot in advance.
“If it’s against a UFC fighter then yeah I probably could,” Kelly said. “The last two matches with UFC fighters, I told my coaches my game plan and I executed it really well.”
Kelly’s sure to return to the world of super fights and dream matchups quickly, and few cards hold matchups that wouldn’t be intriguing to have Kelly a part of. But ahead of her is Cathryn Millares, a BJJ purple belt who could make a Mason Fowler over Craig Jones level splash with a strong showing over Kelly, and Kelly knows the scenario all too well.
She’s confident enough to guarantee a finish but is avoiding calling the exact submission.
“I noticed she likes to pull guard, or she’ll wait for someone to shoot in for a guillotine,” Kelly explained. “She has a really good high guillotine, so it’ll be extremely interesting. I’m not being cocky, but I’ve been doing a lot particularly for her. It’s going to be a submission, for sure. I respect her, I always respect my opponents, but once we slap hands it’s go time.”
Catch the return of Danielle Kelly at Fury Grappling 2 Friday, October 29, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!