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"I served like the future of jiu-jitsu” - Mikey Musumeci recalls a conversation with ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong

Mikey Musumeci. [Photos ONE Championship]
Mikey Musumeci. [Photos ONE Championship]
Vince Richards

Mikey Musumeci was already a phenom in the world of submission grappling, but his conversation with ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong made him realize that he can achieve bigger things in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

During his appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, Musumeci said that moving to Singapore and meeting with Sityodtong was the biggest decision he ever made.

The five-time BJJ world champion said he’s lived all his life with or near his parents. With that said, it came as a total surprise when he decided to leave the United States and live in Asia.

Mikey Musumeci said:

“So my whole life I live very close to my parents, you know, for 25 years, and then I leave and just changed continents, you know. Again, with Chatri's vision with martial arts, I served like the future of jiu-jitsu when I was talking to him, and it was something I wanted to be a part of, you know? So I got my stuff, my four Shoyo-roll shirts, and like two gis, and moved to Singapore.”

The 26-year-old signed with ONE Championship earlier this year and debuted for the promotion at ONE 156: Eersel vs. Sadikovic in April.

His first match was a baptism of fire as he took on Japanese legend Masakazu Imanari, the same man who invented the Imanari roll. Despite the reputation of his opponent, Musumeci displayed incredible poise before locking in a tight rear-naked choke for the debut win.

Musumeci added that it's not just the promise to be a central figure in the sport that enticed him to move to Singapore, but also ONE Championship’s aggression to push BJJ into the global mainstream audience.

Just like in MMA, Muay Thai, and kickboxing, BJJ looks set to have its own set of world titles and weight classes soon enough.

Mikey Musumeci, himself, claims he will be fighting for the first ONE BJJ world title on the September 30 Amazon Prime Video card. However, nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet.

“What ONE Championship is doing now they're getting into jiu-jitsu, which is so interesting. They're going to have belts and divisions. Actually, I have my, I'm fighting for the belt in ONE Championship on September 30, and it's going to be on Amazon Prime in the US, because now they're getting into the US. And what's really cool about them is how they're spreading martial arts all over. With kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA, and jiu-jitsu on the same card.”

Watch a snippet of Rogan's interview below:

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Mikey Musumeci says Sityodtong embodies true martial arts

Mikey Musumeci has always wanted to pick the brain of Sityodtong, and he immediately felt a connection with the ONE Championship CEO the moment they met.

‘Darth Rigatoni’ said Sityodtong has a unique approach in both life and martial arts, and it was this attitude that drew him to the ONE Championship chairman.

In the same JRE interview, Musumeci said:

“I met him one time, and he was like, the most amazing person I've met, and like, he's a true martial artist. He loves jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, and what he stands for with martial arts really moved me. And I moved to Singapore, changed continents, and I've been living there last four months.”

Edited by Harvey Leonard

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