Grappling superstar Danielle Kelly is looking forward to ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III on Friday, September 30, even though she is not on the card. Beyond the exciting matchups, Kelly is thrilled that ONE Championship will debut its first-ever submission grappling World Championship.
With a deadlocked series at 1-1, Cleber Sousa and Mikey Musumeci will hit the canvas with the inaugural ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship hanging in the balance. The two standout grapplers will get to compete on Prime Video in one of the biggest submission grappling bouts ever.
And Kelly is excited for her turn.
"I think it's really awesome that ONE Championship is having a grappling-only title, submission title. So that'd be really cool to witness, and hopefully, I get the [chance to challenge for one] in the future," said Kelly.
Although the American star did not specifically break down the upcoming grappling bout, she did offer insight into preparation for a trilogy. It was something she had experienced as a teenager and allowed her to grow her game.
"When I was a kid and teenager, I went against this girl a lot, and she would always beat me the first few times. The first time I went against her, I was five months into martial arts, and this girl was in my division. There weren't that many girls, so she was always put with me. She beats me there then this other tournament, No Gi, she beats me there again," said Kelly.
"Then the third time, I actually ended up beating her, and she wasn't happy. And then I guess like the last time we fought, I beat her twice, so I won. But I guess that feeling for like trilogy or more, you kind of know the person, but you also want to stay sharp with your tools. And whatever match you guys have last, you want to sharpen that."
"So if you need to work more on your guard passing or defense, the counter, you'd be focusing on that for that person because you know their strong tools and their weakness. So you basically want to work on your weaknesses more against that person when you're training."
The familiarity between opponents is what Kelly credits for being more prepared for a trilogy. Knowing the specific strengths and weaknesses of your opponent and having felt that in competition allows an athlete to better prepare for the latest installment in their series against a specific opponent.
"If they caught you in a move before, they're looking to adjust that to make it more favored on their side. They want to get better at working their submission on their side if that makes any sense," explained Kelly.
But when the American talent turns on Prime Video later this month, she will be rooting for Musumeci to make history as ONE's first-ever submission grappling king. She is pulling for her compatriot in the rubber match and will be glued to the screen as ONE elevates the platform of her sport.
"[He's] an American. Plus, I like watching jiu-jitsu altogether. So I want to see the other guy's matches before I make my picks. But yeah, anyway, I hope Mikey wins," said Kelly.
ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III airs live on Friday, September 30, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.