Updated: Nov 8
Mikey Musumeci is a shooting star in the world of martial arts. The talented athlete has captured the imaginations of the grappling world with his ability to innovate new techniques and change the game in the process. It is an ability that has led him to ONE Championship and elevated the entire sport with a new global platform.
"Darth Rigatoni" will compete for the inaugural ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship against a familiar foe on Friday, September 30. Musumeci will meet Cleber Sousa in a trilogy bout at ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III to settle their series and establish the first-ever king of the flyweight division in ONE.
As part of his training, Musumeci likes to continually push himself to find solutions to problems. It has allowed him to develop creative solutions and new submission techniques. And the 26-year-old is not shy about explaining how he stays on the cutting edge of the sport.
"Okay, so basically how I just innovate and discover positions, I like training with very few people. I'll train with like five or six controlled people. Like, I consider it a lab experiment almost. I'll be doing a move, and then I'll slowly keep changing my partner's reaction, like, oh, instead of doing this, do this, this stops what I'm doing. Then I'll have to adjust what I'm doing," explained Musumeci.
"I'm constantly changing my partner's reactions and making them able to stop the moves I'm doing, so then I can't just keep doing the same move. And that keeps making me have to improve. And that's how I basically train, I will be doing a position over and over, and then I'll tell my partner, this is how you stop it. And then they'll stop it. And then I have to do another thing. And then I'll tell them, this is how you stop that, then I can do another thing, right?"
As Musumeci and his training partners drill these new techniques, Musumeci is acquiring knowledge on how to succeed in any position. He improves his instinctual responses and can anticipate his opponent's reactions. And that is why he has fallen in love with the sport of submission grappling.
"Eventually, it gets to a point where one of the reactions really starts messing up what I'm doing, and I have to keep brainstorming how do I do this? How do I do this? So I get into this problem-solving state. Usually, it happens first subconsciously. My body will just instinctively do an answer to a position. And I'm like, what just happened? How did I do that? And then that's where the creativity just happens, you know," said Musumeci.
"And that's why Jiu-Jitsu is an art. Because there's so much creativity in problem-solving, in figuring out moves, it's a feeling if that makes sense. And when you have that creative, artistic way, you're able to discover new things. And many positions I made and developed have been in that state of discovery."
Musumeci will hope to display his next round of innovations at ONE on Prime Video 2 and electrify the world with another standout performance.
Musumeci returns to the ONE Circle at ONE on Prime Video 2 on Friday, September 30. The event airs live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Mikey Musumeci Breaks Down His INSANE Debut | ONE Playback
BJJ phenom Mikey Musumeci breaks down his incredible ONE submission grappling debut against Japanese legend Masakazu Imanari at ONE 156 on 22 April 2022! Fol...