5 Reasons Why Gantumur Bayanduuren Is A Dangerous Challenger For Mikey Musumeci

Gantumur Bayanduuren

On January 13, reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci will finally get his wish and square off with the world’s top sambo competitor in his weight class.

In the first co-main event of ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov, the BJJ ace will defend his belt against 2022 Combat Sambo World Champion Gantumur Bayanduuren at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

That showdown will be another chapter in ONE’s submission grappling rivalry between jiu-jitsu and sambo.

And in September, just hours after Musumeci captured the inaugural flyweight submission grappling crown, he made waves in the combat sports community by calling for a sambo superstar next.

Enter Bayanduuren.

Filling in for Musumeci’s original opponent, Sayan Khertek, the Mongolian grappling star is now just one month removed from his first Sambo World Title and poses a real threat to hand the American his first loss inside the Circle.

As we look ahead to fight night, here are five reasons why the sambo stylist is so dangerous.

#1 He’s The Division’s Top Combat Sambo Fighter

Bayanduuren isn’t just an elite sambo athlete – he’s the best of the best.

The Mongolian recently proved that when he earned gold in the 58-kilogram (128-pound) combat sambo division at the 2022 Sambo World Championships.

Unlike sport sambo, which disallows chokes, combat sambo includes all types of submissions in addition to strikes.

Bayanduuren will lean on this unique grappling skill set, hardened by years of competing and winning at a world-class level, to present Musumeci with attacks he has never faced in BJJ competitions.

#2 He’s A BJJ Brown Belt

Unlike the other sambo stylists who’ve brought their skills to the Circle, Bayanduuren is not new to jiu-jitsu.

In fact, the sambo expert holds the rank of brown belt in BJJ.

And while the Mongolian is certainly a sambo fighter through and through, his knowledge and experience in BJJ should pay huge dividends against “Darth Rigatoni,” giving him an understanding of the complex guards and submission chains Musumeci is so well-known for.

#3 He Has MMA Experience

A martial artist in every sense of the word, Bayanduuren has high-level MMA experience in addition to his grappling-based expertise, sporting a solid professional record of 3-1 (1 NC).

Of course, he won’t be throwing strikes in this 10-minute submission-only showdown, but the grit, physicality, aggression, and positional awareness honed through mixed martial arts training and fighting is irreplaceable.

Ultimately, those traits could pose big problems for the defending World Champion as the match wears on.

#4 His Wrestling Is Superb

Like many other top-end sambo players, Bayanduuren is a powerful takedown artist who possesses a wide range of wrestling and judo skills to bring the fight to the mat.

Importantly, the Mongolian’s style of wrestling should translate well to ONE’s submission grappling format, in which neither combatant wears a gi top.

Rather than rely on grips of his opponent’s jacket for judo-style throws and trips, Bayanduuren tends to utilize more traditional wrestling takedowns, like the double-leg. 

Look for him to try to impose his will on Musumeci early with aggressive takedowns.

#5 His Gas Tank Is Endless

Bayanduuren’s gold medal-winning performance in the final of the 2022 Sambo World Championships was an impressive display of heart and endurance, leading to a thrilling come-from-behind victory.

Using that relentless pacing against “Darth Rigatoni” would be wise.

Rather than allowing Musumeci to feel comfortable and set up his notoriously complicated attacks, Bayanduuren should push the pace from bell to bell, knowing he has the world-class cardio needed to exhaust the champion.

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