Video: Justin Timberlake’s Marine date dominates MMA match

Marine Cpl. Kelsey DeSantis, know for inviting Justin Timberlake to a Marine Corps birthday ball in a YouTube video,  retained her women's featherweight title belt on Saturday night during Operation Octagon XVI in Sterling, Va. (Photo by James J. Lee/Staff)

Marine Cpl. Kelsey De Santis smiles after winning her MMA fight Saturday night. (Photo by James J. Lee/Staff)

In the blink of an eye, it was over. Justin Timberlake may want to take notice.

Cpl. Kelsey De Santis, the Marine who famously invited the singer and actor to attend the Marine Corps birthday ball with her, competed Saturday night in Operation Octagon XVI, a mixed martial arts event in Sterling, Va.

To say it was a one-sided fight would be an understatement.

De Santis, fighting in the 145-pound featherweight title fight, pummeled her opponent, Stacy Sneeringer. With a flurry of energy, De Santis took Sneeringer to the mat early, and finished her off 2:51 into the fight with a series of punches and elbows to the face. The match never made it to Round 2.

Staff photographer James J. Lee and I attended the event, held at the Dulles Sportsplex. Check out his video here:

[brightcove video=”1235774096001″ /]

As you can see, the 5-foot-9 De Santis had a large following in the crowd of about 300 people. She took the the microphone in the ring afterward and thanked a variety of people, including her coaches and fellow Marines at the Martial Arts Center for Excellence in Quantico, Va. She also acknowledged all the hoopla surrounding the sensation her YouTube invitation created.

“I’m looking forward,” she said, “to going to the Marine Corps birthday ball with Justin Timberlake.”

On came one of his signature songs, “SexyBack,” and the crowd cheered.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. Beauty, Will, Humility, Humor, Power

    Justin shouldn’t just go to the ball with her he should marry her. (Or at least help her become a movie star)

    Kelsey I’m am a big fan. You are going be a star!

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