5 Male MMA Superstars We’d Love To See Compete In ONE Submission Grappling
ONE Championship rapidly expanded its submission grappling division in 2022 after signing a number of the planet’s top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and sambo competitors.
In addition to those ground game specialists, we’ve also seen a number of ONE’s top MMA fighters compete in submission grappling, including ONE Middleweight World Champion Reinier de Ridder, #2-ranked featherweight contender Garry Tonon, and former lightweight king Shinya Aoki.
However, fans would love to see a few other MMA superstars mix it up under ONE’s submission grappling rule set in 2023.
Below, we look at five of the organization’s best male ground fighters and what makes each of them ready for a submission-only matchup.
Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida
Undefeated heavyweight titan Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida might be the most accomplished BJJ competitor to ever lace up the 4-ounce gloves. With an incredible 17 BJJ World Championships to his name, the Brazilian is the perfect fit for ONE’s submission grappling division.
In just four professional MMA fights, “Buchecha” has already given ONE’s global fan base a taste of his grappling prowess. He owns four first-round finishes, including three by submission.
As one of the best BJJ competitors to ever step in the Circle, we’d love to see Almeida showcase his GOAT-level submission skills against a fellow world-class grappler.
Reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is regarded as the top pound-for-pound MMA fighter ever, lauded for his supreme skill in all areas of combat.
The flyweight king has already tested his stand-up skills in a mixed rules super-fight against ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon, so it makes sense that he would try submission grappling as well.
As fate would have it, current ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci asked for a match against “Mighty Mouse,” setting the ball in motion for what would be a highly anticipated showdown between the best technicians in MMA and BJJ.
ONE Lightweight and Welterweight World Champion Christian Lee has done more than enough to prove that he’s one of MMA’s most dangerous finishers, but how would his BJJ black belt skills translate to pure grappling?
“The Warrior” owns four submission victories across 17 total wins, but that stat doesn’t tell the full story. Because even though Lee has earned many of his finishes with strikes, most of those knockouts came on the ground after dominating his opponent with superior wrestling, positioning, and overall grappling acumen.
With his fearless, ultra-aggressive approach to MMA, fans would love to see the two-division king going after a world-class grappler.
Undefeated Dagestani welterweight Murad Ramazanov would be another intriguing addition to the submission grappling ranks. Unlike the other ground game experts on this list, Ramazanov comes from a wrestling and sambo background, bringing a unique approach to the Circle.
Thanks to that experience in wrestling and sambo, the Russian has developed a reputation as a suffocating top-control artist with crushing strength and endless energy in grappling exchanges.
Considering the ongoing rivalry between sambo and BJJ currently playing out in ONE’s submission grappling division, Ramazanov is in the perfect position to square off with a world-class jiu-jitsu player.
Eko Roni Saputra
Finally, flyweight contender Eko Roni Saputra should test the waters of submission grappling.
The winner of seven straight fights, including five by first-round submission, the Indonesian star came to MMA with an impressive freestyle wrestling background, boasting 116 career wins to just 10 losses.
Saputra has proven to be much more than just a wrestler, though. In his last outing against Yodkaikaew Fairtex, for example, he scored a sensational heel hook, giving up the top position to attack the leg lock.
This makes Saputra a prime candidate to switch sports and compete under submission grappling rules.