3 Reasons Why Mikey Musumeci Might Be The World’s Most Exciting Grappler

Mikey Musumeci clashes with Cleber Sousa at ONE on Prime Video 2

Reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci is a buzzsaw of jiu-jitsu technique and an attack-oriented submission hunter of the highest degree.

On January 13 at ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov, the 26-year-old black belt will return to the Circle for the first defense of his World Title against Combat Sambo World Champion Gantumur Bayanduuren.

When fans in Bangkok, Thailand, take their seats to watch “Darth Rigatoni” in action, they’ll be viewing much more than just a multiple-time BJJ World Champion – they’ll also be witnessing one of the most entertaining submission grapplers on the planet.

Indeed, Musumeci’s unparalleled technical acumen makes him a must-see attraction for martial arts fans worldwide.

As we look ahead to all the action on Prime Video, here are three reasons why the Italian-American star is so exciting.

#1 He Goes After The Submission Right Away

The flyweight submission grappling king wastes no time in attacking for finishes.

The grappling equivalent of a one-punch knockout, Musumeci has proven capable of ending a match in a matter of seconds, making him one of the most thrilling competitors on the scene today.

Case in point – the New Jersey native owns the record for the fastest-ever submission in an IBJJF Black Belt World Championship Final.

In 2019, he needed just 12 seconds to apply his trademark ankle lock, setting a mark that’s likely to stand for years to come and picking up his fourth IBJJF World Championship in the process.

#2 His Innovative Leg Locks

Fans can expect to see something new each time “Darth Rigatoni” steps into the Circle.

Through hours of daily training and experimenting, Musumeci has developed a number of unique techniques and tactics, particularly in the area of leg locks.

His record-setting ankle lock, for example, is commonly referred to as the “butterfly hook ankle lock.” Before Musumeci popularized the submission with his brutal breaking mechanics, it was rarely seen at the black belt level, but it’s now commonplace among elite competitors, thanks to his innovation.

Moreover, in 2021, he debuted the “Mikey Lock” – a modified heel hook in which he uses his head and neck to turn his opponent’s foot in a dangerous, knee-snapping manner.

#3 He Can Take The Back From Anywhere

While he’s proven to have a wide variety of world-class techniques under his belt, “Darth Rigatoni’s” best overall skill is his ability to take the back from seemingly any position.

Back control is generally considered the most powerful position in grappling, and the reigning World Champion is an excellent finisher once he’s there.

Throughout much of his early career, Musumeci was feared for his unstoppable berimbolo, which requires him to invert under his opponent’s legs, elevate his opponent’s hips, and climb around to achieve full back control.

But in his ONE Championship debut, he showed off a different style of back-take.

In his submission grappling match against Japanese MMA legend Masakazu Imanari at ONE 156, Musumeci expertly took his foe’s back from the top half-guard position, securing the match-ending rear-naked choke just moments later.

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