Gabriel Sousa certain he’s the man to halt Mikey Musumeci’s perfect run on the global stage: “That’s why I’m here”

Photo Credit: ONE Championship
Image courtesy: ONE Championship

BJJ standout Gabriel Sousa has all the confidence in the world that he can beat Mikey Musumeci again.

In September 2021, Sousa scored a shocking submission victory over 'Darth Rigantoni' under the Who's Number One banner, making Musumeci tap to a perfectly executed north-south choke.

Nearly three years later, they'll run it back on martial arts' biggest stage when ONE Championship presents ONE 167 in front of a sold-old crowd inside Bangkok's Impact Arena on Friday, June 7.

Making an appearance at the ONE 167 pre-fight press event before stepping inside the Circle for his promotional debut, Sousa expressed nothing but confidence in his ability to make Musumeci tap for the second time in his career.

On being asked if he's feeling confident ahead of fight night, Sousa said:

"Absolutely. That’s why I’m here. I trained and I’m focused on winning. I don’t think nobody prepares to fail, so I am 100 percent positive that I can win this match. That’s why I’m here."

Musumeci believes he's levelled up for Gabriel Sousa redo

Of course, a lot has changed for both Gabriel Sousa and Mikey Musumeci since their first meeting. Sousa has competed in more than 40 submission grappling matches, staying active and collecting accolades along the way.

Meanwhile, Musumeci has been making history in ONE Championship—starting by becoming the first fighter ever to hold the promotion's flyweight submission grappling world championship. Over the last two years, he has amassed an impressive 6-0 record with noteworthy wins over Masakazu Imanari, Jarred Brooks, and Shinya Aoki.

Speaking with ONE ahead of his return to the Circle, Musumeci made it clear that he is not the same fighter Sousa beat all those years ago. He said:

“I’ve gotten so much f*****g better, dude. Physically, technically, everything. I’m an athlete again. When your skill level is really much higher than your other opponents, I didn’t really have to focus on being an athlete.”

Will Musumeci even the series, or will Gabriel Sousa go two-up on the New Jersey native?

ONE Championship fans in the United States and Canada can watch ONE 167 live and for free via Amazon Prime Video in U.S. primetime on Friday, June 7.

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Edited by Jigyanshushri Mahanta
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