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“Means Everything” – BJJ Sensation Mikey Musumeci Overjoyed After Securing Inaugural Jiu-Jitsu World Title

Published 10/12/2022, 12:46 PM EDT

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Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci etched his name in the history books. On Friday, September 30, he became ONE Championship’s first-ever submission grappling World Champion.

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The Italian-American grappling wizard earned a hard-fought unanimous decision to win over longtime rival Cleber Sousa at ONE on Prime Video 2 to claim the ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Title.


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Musumeci’s reaction after the historic win

The significance of winning the inaugural gold isn’t lost on Musumeci. He recognizes that it is much more than just another title in his collection.

“It’s such a crazy feeling. Winning worlds for me was like one feeling. This is like a whole different feeling. It’s so much bigger, this feeling, so it’s insane,” Musumeci said.


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“It means everything to my legacy, you know, because I know ONE Championship is the biggest title in jiu-jitsu. And for future generations, this will be everything for everyone. So to be the first person to get it, it’s so special. I’m just honored that I’m the first person.”

Since inking a deal with the Singapore-based promotion, Musumeci‘s sole objective has been to transform Brazilian jiu-jitsu into a more widely appreciated martial arts discipline. 

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His triumph over Sousa, which took place in U.S. primetime, was a perfect opportunity for him to hit the ground running with that goal.

And now that ONE has crowned a king in the grappling arts, “Darth Rigatoni” hopes more will follow suit.

What’s next for Musumeci?

“I am the first champion of ONE ever in submission grappling. There are going to be so many amazing champions, but this is the beginning of it,” he said.


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“Me and Cleber put on an amazing, exciting match for everyone. And we made history together. So it was an honor.”

As for him, the five-time IBJJF World Champion, who is already considered the best pound-for-pound BJJ athlete on the planet, hopes to continue his reign at the top to further cement his dominance in the sport. 


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“If We Don’t Grapple in the Circle, I’ll Come to Vegas and Grapple”- One Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson Responds to Mikey Musumeci’s Request to Roll

For now, though, Musumeci will get back to work on the mats, elevate his ground game to a higher level, and enjoy his pizza and pasta while he waits for his next opponent inside the Circle.

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Written by:

Yeswanth Praveen


One take at a time

Yeswanth Praveen is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His interests mainly lie in the realm of MMA, bodybuilding, and the fitness industry. He finished his Master's in English literature from EFLU, Hyderabad.
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