“Baddest nice dude on the planet” - Fans show their love for Mikey Musumeci’s grittier and edgier side against Gabriel Sousa

Fans show their love for Mikey Musumeci’s grittier and edgier side against Gabriel Sousa. -- Photo by ONE Championship
Fans show their love for Mikey Musumeci’s grittier and edgier side against Gabriel Sousa. -- Photo by ONE Championship

ONE flyweight submission grappling world champion Mikey Musumeci fought with more grit and edge in his most recent fight and fans took notice and gave him props.

'Darth Rigatoni' was among the winners at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs Nattawut on June 7 in Bangkok, Thailand, beating rival Gabriel Sousa by submission in their bantamweight grappling showdown.

Musumeci came out a man on a mission, looking to exact payback on the Brazilian for the loss he absorbed nearly three years ago. It did not help either that Sousa had some biting words for the American in the lead-up, which made the contest all the more personal.

Mikey Musumeci was laser-focused right from the get-go. He caught Sousa with a crafty calf slicer early on which turned out to be the beginning of the end.

The Fortaleza native tried to wiggle his way out of it, laying back and trying to fish for a toe hold but with little success. Musumeci then moved to secure further the calf slicer that he was holding onto which eventually forced his opponent to tap out a little over three minutes into their scheduled 10-rounder.

After the victory, Musumeci uncharacteristically went off on Sousa during the post-game in-ring interview over the things that was said prior to the match, drawing cheers from the sold-out Impact Arena.

Fans also gave their support and praise for the impressive showing and aggression that Mikey Musumeci showed at ONE 167 on social media, below are what some of them wrote on Instagram:

Fans reactions to Mikey Musumeci's performance at one 167
Fans reactions to Mikey Musumeci's performance at one 167

The victory at ONE 167, extended the undefeated run of Mikey Musumeci in ONE Championship to seven straight and was the fifth victory by submission.


Mikey Musumeci looking forward to mixing it up against Kade Ruotolo

Mikey Musumeci is set to return action in September in an all-champion clash with fellow American grappling ace Kade Ruotolo. It is a matchup he is looking forward to as it is another solid test in line with his push to grow as a fighter.

The ONE flyweight submission grappling world champion will go up two weight classes higher and try to add the lightweight gold in the possession of Ruotolo at ONE 168 in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. on Sept. 6.

During the in-ring post-fight interview following his victory at ONE 167, Musumeci briefly touched on his scheduled match against Ruotolo, saying it was something he has always been angling.

He said:

"I always ask to train with him, so why not not just do it in front of a lot of people, it will be really exciting, you know? But also the energy we have with each other, so respectful..."

Incidentally, Ruotolo was also in action at ONE 167, making his MMA debut and winning by submission (rear-naked choke) in the opening round over Blake Cooper.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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