Brazilian jiu-jitsu experts have proven highly dominant over their counterparts in other disciplines during ONE’s submission grappling matchups — and ONE Fight Night 7 showcased why.
Tommy Langaker Heel Hooks Sambo Champ Uali Kurzev in Under Three Minutes
First, four-time sambo world champion Uali Kurzhev, despite taking some humbling lessons from getting heel hooked into submission by ONE lightweight king Kade Ruotolo back in October, met the same fate yet again — this time at the hands of Kade’s fellow ADCC 2022 veteran, Tommy Langaker.
The two initially engaged in some brief hand fighting on the feet, before Langaker jumpred for what appeared to be a flying triangle attempt. Though he didn’t lock in the submission, he seemed happy to sit guard and engage from the ground, before the referee put both men back on their feet.
Langaker, though, was quick to pull guard again, this time on his own terms, where he immediately began hunting for leg locks. Kurzhev’s frantic escape from the entanglement put him on his back. At what appeared to be the referee’s instructions, Langaker playfully dragged the Russian back into the center of the canvas, inciting a chuckle from the crowd.
As soon as the bout restarted, Langaker was all forward action, even allowing Kuzhev to sweep him on to his back in order to dive for more leg entanglements. Though the two exchanged positions several times — with Kurzhev even looking for a leg attack of his own from a very brief almost-fifty-fifty position at one point — Langaker ultimately emerged victorious from the shootout.
In total, Langaker needed less than three minutes to find the bite on the sambo champ’s heel, earning a near-immediate tap — and his second victory on ONE Championship.
Danielle Kelly Takes Decision Win Over Judo Expert and MMA Star Ayaka Miura
Over on the main card, Danielle Kelly earned a hard-fought decision victory over longtime ONE MMA veteran Ayaka Miura.
Nevertheless Miura gave an admirable performance in her own right, engaging the jiu-jitsu black belt with some patient hand fighting before hitting a foot sweep on Kelly. Kelly, ever the seasoned grappler, popped right back to her feet to continue the exchange. A guard pull from Kelly allowed Miura to impose the MMA vet’s favored front headlock position on the jiu-jitsu star.
Not for long, though. Kelly found her feet, before pulling Miura down on top of her butterfly hooks. A sweep granted Kelly access to the judo expert’s back. Miura, undaunted, defended the back take attempt and settled into a head-and-arm attack of her own on Kelly, bearing down from above.
Kelly scrambled free from danger, quickly regaining dominant position — but Miura remained unwilling to release her grip, showcasing impressive physical strength. Though Kelly once again went to work hunting Miura’s back, Miura doubled down. The judo star even isolated Kelly’s arm to attack her infamous “Ayaka-lock,” scoring a catch from the referee.
Kelly, for her part, remained calm, patiently defending her arm until opportunity allowed her to escape and resume her hunt for Miura’s back. A transition to mount gave Kelly a chance to attack from the top, as the jiu-jitsu star once again looked for a seatbelt grip. Miura, ever stubborn, saw another opportunity to transition into her trademark scarf-hold position, once again pinning Kelly.
Though Kelly successfully regained guard, Miura continued her war for positional dominance. A failed wrestling shot from Kelly put the jiu-jitsu star back on bottom. However, ever the wily opportunist — and a dangerous guard player — Kelly successfully swept Miura, landing in full mount.
Now, the tide turned toward Kelly, who took advantage of top position to pin Miura in place. Miura, attempting to escape, gave up her back to Kelly, who immediately attacked the neck of the MMA veteran. Cranking on Miura’s face while locking up a body triangle, Kelly fought desperately to get her hands under her opponent’s chin, scoring what appeared to be two catches in the final minutes of the match. Miura’s face went red as Kelly put the squeeze on. Still, the judo expert managed to hand-fight her way out of danger, just as time was called.
Ultimately, though, Kelly’s final near-RNC won the day — and the judge’s decision. Miura, though, will likely be remembered as Kelly’s toughest opponent on the ONE Championship roster to date.