‘Means So Much To Me’ – Osamah Almarwai Embracing Chance To Dethrone Mikey Musumeci At ONE’s First U.S. Event
Osamah Almarwai proved that he belongs among the best grapplers in the world when he won the IBJJF No-Gi Worlds last December.
But while that tournament is one of the most prestigious in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the lights will be much brighter when Almarwai challenges Mikey Musumeci for the ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Title at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video.
Their matchup will go down on May 5 at ONE’s historic debut on United States soil, where the 30-year-old phenom will face the host nation’s most decorated BJJ superstar on a card that features the whole spectrum of martial arts.
It’s certainly a massive opportunity for the man known as “Osa,” who is relishing his chance to compete on the stacked bill at 1stBank Center in Colorado.
He told ONEFC.com:
“Man, it means so much to me. Because first of all, I appreciate what ONE is doing for grappling overall. And whether I’m there or not, they’re putting grappling in the mainstream now. Everybody knows about jiu-jitsu and grappling, and they’re making it exciting.
“I like how they appreciate the athletes. When they reached out to me, it was very professional. And I loved it. I never thought I would be in ONE, to be honest. But after I won No-Gi Worlds, I was hopeful.”
While Almarwai was dreaming about a chance to join the world’s largest martial arts organization, Musumeci was the one who brought his name into the conversation.
The reigning flyweight submission grappling king has seen his popularity skyrocket since joining ONE, and when he suggested “Osa” as a potential future opponent, the man from Yemen was quick to oblige.
“[When Mikey mentioned my name], I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ I was excited. I think this match makes sense the most because it’s the current [IBJJF No-Gi] World Champion and the #1-ranked black belt against the ONE World Champion. So I was excited when I heard the callout. I was like, ‘Let’s go.’”
Osamah Almarwai: ‘We’re Going To Put On A Show’
Osamah Almarwai has watched the rise of Mikey Musumeci from the outside while continuing to build his own career, and now, their paths will cross on the biggest stage of all.
“Osa” has been a fan of his upcoming opponent for many years, and it feels good to be sharing the Circle with an athlete he’s admired for so long.
But Almarwai won’t be overawed. Instead, he’s putting in the hard work to defeat “Darth Rigatoni” – just like he does with every other opponent.
The Yemeni grappler said:
“I like his game. He’s always hunting for submissions. He’s a leg-locker, for sure. We saw it in the last match. It will be interesting. I’m very excited to see how his style matches my style. Because both of us are training for each other. I know he’s studying me, and I’m studying him.
“But he’s really fun to watch. I’ve been watching him for a while now. He has been a black belt for a long time, and I used to watch him compete at the World Championships – No-Gi Worlds and Gi Worlds – and winning. So we’re going to put on a show.”
Almarwai is preparing for this matchup at Atos Jiu-Jitsu alongside some of the planet’s top grapplers, including ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo and his twin brother, Tye Ruotolo, who will also compete at ONE Fight Night 10.
Plus, the gym is spearheaded by BJJ icon and fellow ONE athlete Andre Galvao.
This support system gives the World Title challenger a strong belief that he can hold his own with anybody inside the Circle. And while he knows Musumeci has elite skills, “Osa” aims to attack aggressively throughout the biggest match of his life.
“Most likely, it’s going to be me trying to pass and him chasing my legs. I know he’s going to try to capitalize on my passing, to entangle my legs. I’m probably chasing the back, chokes here and there if I can find any opportunities for submissions.
“But I also have to be wary of doing leg entanglements. I’m training for this, of course. I have the best leg-lockers in the game at Atos. I have Galvao, who is a six-time ADCC World Champion. We have the Ruotolos. We have many other colored belts you guys don’t know about, but they’re very good leg-lockers. So yeah, I’m confident. I’m ready for the match.”