"My jiu-jitsu level has increased" - Gabriel Sousa says his knowledge of footlocks improved since first duel with Mikey Musumeci

Gabriel Sousa (L) and Mikey Musumeci (R) | Image by ONE Championship
Gabriel Sousa (L) and Mikey Musumeci (R) | Image by ONE Championship

Mikey Musumeci's tormentor and upcoming opponent Gabriel Sousa believes he fortified his already impressive leg lock defense over the years. As such, the 27-year-old BJJ maestro is extremely confident that he can vanquish the reigning ONE flyweight submission grappling world champion again in their upcoming rematch at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video.

On June 7, live in US primetime from Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, the pair of technical ground savants will lock horns anew in a bantamweight grapplefest.

Speaking to ONE ahead of his promotional debut, Sousa said his knowledge of footlocks, which happens to be Musumeci's best weapon, has got even more expansive.

The Brazilian shared:

"I'm going to face an athlete who attacks a lot with heel hooks, so I trained a lot so as not to be surprised. I believe my jiu-jitsu level has increased a lot, especially my knowledge regarding footlocks."

In hindsight, Sousa dodged several bullets before getting that north-side choke submission victory over Mikey Musumeci back in 2021.

The Essential Jiu Jitsu representative expertly maneuvered away from 'Darth Rigatoni's dreaded leglock arsenal and countered with his stellar passing game.

Then again, Musumeci has also been in the lab since then, perfecting every single detail behind his entries and finishing mechanics.

Let's see who made the bigger improvement at ONE 167. This stacked card is available free for Prime Video subscribers in the United States and Canada.


Gabriel Sousa thrilled he only has to worry about Mikey Musumeci at ONE 167

A fixture in some of the largest jiu-jitsu tournaments in the world, Sousa is used to taking on multiple adversaries in one tournament.

Now that he's part of the ONE Championship banner, the Brazilian grappler relishes the opportunity to focus on a single opponent this time.

In the same interview, Sousa expressed delight in giving his full attention to studying Mikey Musumeci's tendencies ahead of their sought-after rematch:

"It's easier to train for a single 10-minute fight than for seven 10minute fights against athletes that you have no idea of who those athletes will be."

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