BREAKING: Danielle Kelly to Face Russian Sambo Champ Mariia Molchanova on November 18

Danielle Kelly, after a bonus-winning debut at ONE X back in March 2022, has finally been summoned back to the ONE Circle for her next grappling match. She’ll be facing Mariia Molchanova, a multiple-time sambo world champion hailing from Russia, on November 18 in an atomweight submission grappling clash, as part of ONE on Prime Video 4.

If this sounds like a familiar matchup, that’s very much intentional. 

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong told the Jiu-Jitsu Times earlier this month that he planned to stoke the flames of rivalry between sambo and jiu-jitsu stylists. True to his word, in the past two months alone, we’ve seen ADCC champ Kade Ruotolo heel hook his way to a ONE submission grappling world title over four-time world sambo champion Uali Kurzhev, and previously little-known jiu-jitsu black belt Rodirgo Marello break records for fastest submission in the ONE Circle with an ankle lock victory over another Russian sambo champ, Ruslan Bagdasarian.

Now, we have another highly decorated jiu-jitsu black belt in Danielle Kelly, throwing down with an equally lauded sambo star in Molchanova in the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Kelly, who’s touted the benefits of studying wrestling alongside more classical Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has made no secret of her hopes to become ONE’s first female contender for a submission grappling belt. Although ONE has not yet officially announced a women’s atomweight belt for submission grappling, Kelly will no doubt be looking for a war with the sambo champ to prove her right to that title shot. 

Don’t miss all the action, streaming live exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, at 8 PM EST on Friday, November 18.

Editorial note: A previous version of this article spelled Mariia Molchanova’s name as “Maria Molchanova.” The error has been corrected.


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