Submission grappling sensation Mikey Musumeci is excited about the opportunity to become ONE Championship’s first submission grappling world champion at ONE on Prime Video 2 on September 30. Perhaps even more so, the man they call ‘Darth Rigatoni’ is excited to help bring jiu-jitsu to the global stage and introduce more people to the art form.
For Musumeci, the best way to do that is through crossover matches with some of ONE’s biggest mixed martial arts competitors. Showing interest in meeting flyweight world champion Demetrious Johnson in a submission grappling showdown, Mikey Musumeci believes bigger names crossing over to the grappling side could expose his chosen field of combat to a new set of fans, inspiring people to both embrace and pursue BJJ themselves.
In an interview with ONE Championship, ‘Darth Rigatoni’ spoke about potential jiu-jitsu vs. MMA crossovers and how the submission grappling side of ONE Championship could benefit greatly:
“I feel like the crossover of these jiu-jitsu and MMA matches would be huge for jiu-jitsu because of the audience that we can bring. It will introduce jiu-jitsu to many new people. My match with Imanari was the most viewed match in jiu-jitsu history. It was 25 million views, I believe. And it's just incredible, right?”
Mikey Musumeci wants to inspire the next generation of submission grapplers
In his ONE Championship debut, Musumeci delivered a stunning performance against Japanese combat sports icon Masakazu Imanari. It only took ‘Darth Rigatoni’ 4:09 to submit Imanari, immediately showing the world just how good he is. Referencing the contest, Mikey Musumeci shared his enthusiasm over fans being inspired to start their own jiu-jitsu journey:
“So many people joined jiu-jitsu from that, many people just learned about it from that, you know. And that's our job as jiu-jitsu people, to spread it. Like, that's my job. That's my role. Like, I'm trying to have more people do jiu-jitsu, right, so I feel like it's so cool that we could get more people to do this by doing that.”
Mikey Musumeci has the chance to inspire an entire world of aspiring grapplers once again in U.S. primetime when he meets former foe Cleber Sousa to crown the promotion’s inaugural flyweight submission grappling world champion.