Best Submission Grappling Finish Of 2023: Mikey Musumeci Taps Out Osamah Almarwai With Slick Rear-Naked Choke
But when the pair of elite grapplers clashed at ONE’s historic debut on U.S. soil in May, the American turned in a dominant performance, securing a rear-naked choke finish to successfully defend his ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Title.
That beautiful showcase of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique was the best finish of 2023 in ONE’s submission grappling ranks.
The 27-year-old BJJ superstar came into the contest full of confidence, undefeated in a trio of appearances in ONE, and fresh off the first defense of his crown.
Never one to shy away from big challenges, Musumeci had specifically asked to face “Osa” – the reigning IBJJF No-Gi World Champion.
Given Almarwai’s meteoric rise through the black belt ranks and his proven submission prowess, “Darth Rigatoni” knew he couldn’t afford to make any mistakes in their much-anticipated World Title showdown.
The New Jersey native controlled the action from the opening bell.
Through the bout’s first several minutes, the champion attacked from his feared guard, pulling the challenger into complex leg entanglements while threatening him with inside heel hooks, outside heel hooks, and his trademark “Mikey lock.”
Almarwai defended well, though, and forced Musumeci to change tactics with three minutes remaining in the contest.
Far ahead on the scorecards but still in pursuit of the finish, “Darth Rigatoni” took top position before quickly passing the guard and securing his foe’s back.
From there, he trapped one of Almarwai’s arms and sunk in the picture-perfect rear-naked choke with just under two minutes remaining, bringing the roaring Colorado crowd to its feet.
Simply put, Musumeci’s performance that night – from the guard work to the back-take and match-ending choke – was a thrilling display of submission hunting, and it all came against one of the planet’s finest ground fighters.
For that reason, this highlight-reel submission stands head and shoulders above the rest in a banner year for “Darth Rigatoni.”