Mikey Musumeci vs. Masakazu Imanari: Everything To Know About Their Submission Grappling Match

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ONE Championship brought submission grappling back into the fold at the historic ONE X last month, and fans were thrilled to see the world’s best ground specialists competing inside the Circle.

Given the positive reception to both matchups, ONE’s next event will feature another intriguing contest between two of the biggest names in Brazilian Jiu-Jitu and no-gi grappling.

Here’s everything you need to know about the submission grappling match between Mikey Musumeci and Masakazu Imanari at ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic on Friday, 22 April.

Young Gun Mikey Musumeci Meets Veteran Masakazu Imanari

Mikey Musumeci will debut on the global stage of ONE Championship as one of the hottest properties in the submission grappling world.

The 25-year-old American has won the IBJJF World Championship four times at black belt and the IBJJF No-Gi World Championship once, and he’s also enjoyed huge success on the biggest submission-only platforms.

While he was once revered for his innovative gi game, Musumeci has become very creative without the kimono, earning a recent string of victories with his patented “Mikey Lock.”

Masakazu Imanari is also a groundbreaking leg-locker, though the catch wrestler and BJJ black belt has mostly used that skill to great effect in his long mixed martial arts career.

Known as “Ashikan-Judan” – which translates to “The Grand Master of Leg Locks” – the Japanese star popularized heel hooks in MMA competition, and his “Imanari Roll” is still a staple across the world.

Musumeci is riding high atop the current grappling scene, but the 46-year-old Imanari has stayed active on the mats and has no fear of duking it out against the best.

This battle of old school and new school should offer plenty of excitement as two certified finishers aim for a tapout victory.

ONE Championship’s Submission Grappling Rules

Andre Galvao starts to climb up Reinier de Ridder at ONE X: Part I

Bouts consist of one 12-minute round with no break. The matches feature a submission-only format, with athletes winning via tapout, verbal tapout, or referee stoppage due to imminent danger. 

Competitors can attempt throws, takedowns, and either standing or ground submissions until one gives up or the time limit is reached.

If the 12-minute round expires without a submission, the winner will be the athlete with the most submission attempts over the course of the match.

Any competitor deemed to be stalling can be punished with a yellow card.

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