‘A Performance To Show Who I Am’ – Shinya Aoki Excited For Grappling Matchup With Mikey Musumeci

Shinya Aoki stands in the Circle at ONE 157

Although he’s largely built his legendary career in mixed martial arts, Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki has always been willing to face the world’s best submission grapplers in their own domain. 

“Tobikan Judan” has already taken on the likes of Kade Ruotolo and Garry Tonon, and he’ll meet another Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu superstar in Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci at ONE Fight Night 15: Tawanchai vs. Superbon on Prime Video.

Aoki will battle the reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion in an openweight clash at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on Friday, October 6, and he can’t wait to square off with the American phenom.

“Tobikan Judan” spoke to onefc.com ahead of their North American primetime contest in Bangkok, Thailand:

“I am really looking forward to the match on October 6 against Mikey Musumeci, and I am excited to meet him in the ring in Thailand.

“I hope we can make a good 10 minutes for both of us, so see you then, Mikey.”

Aoki is a BJJ and judo black belt with a reputation for an aggressive submission game, but he’s spent years honing those talents for his World Title-winning career in MMA. 

The 40-year-old knows that could be a key factor when facing a true ground specialist in Musumeci, but he plans to take more risks since there are no strikes involved – potentially producing a more intense matchup.

“Tobikan Judan” explained:

“Because my style of grappling is specialized for MMA, I think it’s a different style of grappling from the way other people do it today.

“Simply put, the difference between MMA and submission grappling is that MMA has strikes, so we could get hit, so we’ll go with positions where we don’t get hit.

“But with grappling, we don’t have strikes, so we have more choices of position than we do in MMA.”

Shinya Aoki Determined To Stage A Thriller With Mikey Musumeci

Shinya Aoki is the generalist to Mikey Musumeci’s specialist skill set, and he knows the young BJJ prodigy has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. 

Indeed, “Darth Rigatoni” has pioneered various sweeps, submissions, and positions – particularly from his guard. So while Aoki would usually be in a favorable spot on top in MMA, he’ll be careful there when facing the creative American.

The Japanese icon said:

“I think that being flexible and able to attack from the bottom in a variety of ways is [Musumeci’s] strong point.

“I think the rules in ONE fit Mikey very well. If you’re on the ground and attack from below, you won’t get a negative point. In that sense, I think the rule set is a plus for him.”

Knowing that Musumeci holds most of the cards when they’re competing in his wheelhouse of submission grappling, Aoki is simply embracing the tough challenge and aiming to score an upset.

And understanding that he won’t be able to surprise Musumeci, the veteran plans to go out there, implement his game plan, and pressure his foe in a riveting battle.

“Tobikan Judan” added:

“In this match, I won’t apply psychological techniques or cheap tricks. I will just get in the ring wearing only my pants and give a performance to show who I am.

“It will be a match where we will forcefully fight each other. I am determined to do my best against him.”

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