“I Need To Finish a Guy Bigger Than Me” Mikey Musumeci Discusses Move to Welterweight, Aspires To Face Shinya Aoki

Published 09/06/2023, 3:02 AM EDT

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Mikey Musumeci is out to challenge himself and show the world what jiu-jitsu is all about.

At ONE Fight Night 15: Tawanchai vs. Superbon on Friday, October 6, the American ace will face former lightweight MMA World Champion Shinya Aoki in an openweight submission grappling bout, and he’s motivated to get the finish over the Japanese mixed martial arts legend.

Mikey Musumeci discusses plan for Openweight submission grappling match with Shinya Aoki

That said, he is under no illusions about how tough his upcoming foe will be. “Kade Rotolo, the 170-pound champion, fought him and couldn’t finish,” Musumeci told ONE Championship. “I’m going up in weight and fighting a guy that the champion couldn’t finish. Shinya is a tough guy to finish, so it’s going to be a very interesting match.”

Through five contests in the world’s largest martial arts organization, Musumeci has proven why he is the best grappler in the world today. He has defeated experts in their respective canvas-based arts again and again, but his upcoming match will only be the second time he has stepped out of the flyweight limit. In his first match, he submitted another Japanese legend, Masakazu Imanari, in a catchweight bout at 143 pounds, and he’ll look to replicate that feat by taking out Aoki, who regularly competes at 170.

“I’m on this path where I want to have the most technical finishes that I can, where I use my body to the maximal way to get the amount of leverage I need to finish a guy bigger than me,” Musumeci said. “So it’s definitely a puzzle for me, and it definitely makes it like a cool science experiment. Will my submission mechanics be efficient enough to finish a guy bigger than me, like Shinya?”

American wants to capitalize on ONE’s global reach to expand the popularity of submission grappling

‘Darth Rigatoni’ has made it his mission to make submission grappling in ONE as exciting as possible to entice more people to try the sport. With every bout, he takes full advantage of the promotion’s global reach to showcase the beauty of Jiu-Jitsu.

His match against ‘Tobikan Judan’ will be no different, and he’ll be looking to prove that technique can always overcome size at ONE Fight Night 15. “I think that I’m able to really show the art of jiu-jitsu when I compete, and that’s what I want to show in this match. And I want to show it against a bigger opponent, which is what jiu-jitsu stands for – being able to defeat someone bigger than you,” Musumeci said.

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Written by:

Aditya Vaibhav

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Aditya Vaibhav is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He discovered MMA in the year 2009 after watching Chuck Liddell on Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior, at the age of 10. A follower of combat sports, Aditya uses writing as a medium to actively participate in the domain he is so passionate about.
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Edited by:

Rupkamal Sarma

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