Grappling sensation Danielle Kelly will be making her highly anticipated transition to mixed martial arts.
In a post on social media, Kelly announced that she has signed with ONE Championship and will bring her skills from the mat to the cage.
“Happy to announce I am officially a @onechampionship athlete,” Kelly posted on Instagram. “I am also proud to be apart of @evolvemma . I’ll be doing grappling bouts under them and when I’m ready to do MMA they’ll be the promotion I’ll fight under.
“I can’t put into words how much this means to me. I try my best to be the best I can be whether that’s on or off the mats. I love what ONE represents.”
Kelly, 26, was recently thrust into the MMA spotlight while competing for FURY Pro Grappling, an offshoot of Cage Fury Fighting Championship, an organization featured on UFC Fight Pass. She also competed in the first UFC Fight Pass Invitational in December.
Holding a black-belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kelly has competed in multiple grappling organizations including Quintet, FloGrappling WNO Championship and Rise Invitational. Her notable wins come against Cynthia Calvillo, Roxanne Modafferi, Jessica Crane and Cathryn Millares.
Most recently, Kelly faced former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza at FURY Pro Grappling 3. During an exchange, Esparza slammed Kelly to the mat, but a clash of heads opened a deep cut above Esparza’s right eye. Shortly after, the match was called off and Kelly was awarded the victory.
Kelly will continue to compete in grappling tournaments before making the transition to MMA. No timeline has been given for her first bout.
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images