Mikey Musumeci has always been enamored by how ONE Championship embodies the “Bushido Code,” or the eight virtues of the samurai. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons why he decided to accept ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong’s offer to sign with the promotion earlier this year.
Following his impressive performance against Mazakazu Imanari at ONE 156 this past April, ‘Darth Rigatoni’ has further grown his legend as one of the most recognizable stars in the grappling scene.
The 26-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace even has a shot at history. He'll attempt to become the inaugural ONE flyweight submission grappling world champion at ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs Lee III this Friday, September 30.
Standing in his way will be a familiar foe in Cleber ‘Clandestino’ Sousa, whom Musumeci has previously fought twice and split their first two encounters. The stakes will be high for their third contest, which will air live at US primetime via Prime Video.
Ahead of the biggest fight of his life, Mikey Musumeci went into detail on why moving to ONE Championship was one of the best decisions of his life.
The American grappling sensation told ONE in an exclusive interview:
“What I really like about ONE is it's not a toxic environment. It's very, not really that much smack talk. It's just respect, you know, because it's just martial arts. Chatri really values martial arts and respect. So the energy that he brings to the table really influences all the athletes.”
It’s clear that ONE’s core values certainly align with Musumeci. So much so that the American even packed his bags and moved to Singapore to train at Evolve MMA on a full-time basis.
Mikey Musumeci believes trash talk is unnecessary in combat sports
Nowadays, combat sports and trash-talking seem to go hand-in-hand. After all, it’s the fastest and easiest way to sell fights. Mikey Musumeci is familiar with unnecessary animosity since it wasn’t any different in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu scene.
The five-time IBJJF black belt world champion shared in the same interview with ONE:
“There's a toxic part of jiu-jitsu with all that cr*p-talk and stuff, where people are trying to make money with cr*p-talking. I'm not really comfortable with that. I'm a different type of person, and I'm very introverted. I have a lot of friends that are like me as well, and they quit jiu-jitsu because of that toxic way.”
Now that ‘Darth Rigatoni’ has a new home in the world’s largest martial arts organization, he’s grateful he doesn’t have to go through that stuff again.
“I don't really enjoy jiu-jitsu when that part of it is involved. Chatri gives us a format and a platform where we don't have to be that type of person, you know. I feel like in some places, people, they kind of force people to do that stuff.”
Mikey Musumeci is truly one of a kind. He is an exemplary fighter inside the circle, and an even better person outside of it.