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Grappling Report: Danielle Kelly earns big win over Sambo world champion

A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report

Danielle Kelly had a huge match booked at ONE on Amazon Video 4, as she was due to face off against Sambo star Mariia Molchanova. Kelly took the same approach to facing a more experienced standing grappler that Rodrigo Marello took before her, and she pulled guard almost immediately. Molchanova is no slouch on the ground though of course and she managed to hold Kelly at bay for a few minutes.

In the end though, Kelly took Molchanova’s back and worked to sink in the rear-naked choke as soon as she could. It took less than three minutes in total for Kelly to finish her opponent and with that win, she added a new chapter to the whole BJJ v Sambo rivalry that ONE Championship are cultivating. Additionally, Kelly put herself in a great position for when the promotion puts together their first Women’s Atomweight title fight.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Kayla Harrison suffers first professional MMA loss

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Judoka Kayla Harrison has been dominating the women’s Lightweight division in MMA for almost five straight years, going 15-0. She won two PFL championships in the division along the way and was set up for her third as she made it to the final at PFL 10 opposite Larissa Pacheco. The pair had actually fought twice before, with Harrison winning unanimous decisions both times.

As the event was heading into the main event match between the two, all signs pointed to Harrison extending her unbelievable streak. Pacheco proved to be much more than just a tough opponent however, as she got one back and came away with the decision win this time around. She served Harrison the first loss of her professional MMA career and although the record between the two is 2-1, this probably isn’t the last time they’ll meet.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Dillon Danis booked in boxing debut against YouTuber KSI

Dillon Danis moved away from his life as a professional grappler to pursue a career in MMA instead, and now he’s decided to move even further away again. Back in 2014 Danis was one of the top brown belt prospects in BJJ and after two unsuccessful attempts at glory at ADCC glory, he left the sport. He was snapped up by Bellator in 2017 and made his debut the next year, winning two MMA fights for the promotion.

Just a matter of days ago, Danis appeared to be getting in on the celebrity boxing action when he showed up at the weigh-ins for the Greg Hardy v Hasim Rahman Jr event and got into a brawl with YouTuber KSI and Anthony Taylor. Now it’s actually been confirmed that the next MF x DAZN boxing event will be headlined by Danis making his professional boxing debut against the aforementioned KSI.

Gordon Ryan suggests three options for WNO headline match

Gordon Ryan is already booked for one high-profile grappling match against Felipe Pena in February but he’s also looking to keep himself busy before that as well. There’s going to be another Who’s Number One event the month before that, and Ryan wants to headline that against one of three key opponents. Ryan suggested Victor Hugo, Patrick Gaudio, or Gutemberg Pereira as potential matchups in a recent Instagram post.

Out of those three, only Pereira would represent a completely new challenge to Ryan. He fought Gaudio before back in 2018 at IBJJF no gi worlds and won a close contest on advantages, and defeated Hugo by a significant points-margin at ADCC 2022. Given that he was vocally disappointed by not submitting Hugo at the event, it seems like he’s eager to improve upon his previous performances against them.


Quick Hits


Technique Corner

Details on Chest-to-back control

Half-guard to Crab-ride, to Back-take

Three-quarter mount to mount, or the back


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