Mikey Musumeci Promises To Bring ‘Crazy Mindset’ To Rematch Against Gabriel Sousa

Mikey Musumeci Osamah Almarwai ONE Fight Night 10 47

To say that Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci is fired up about his upcoming bantamweight submission grappling clash with promotional newcomer Gabriel Sousa would be an understatement.

The much-anticipated matchup goes down live in U.S. primetime from Bangkok’s Impact Arena this Friday, June 7, at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video and is Musumeci’s chance to even the score with the last man to defeat him.

The two BJJ black belts first collided outside of ONE in 2021. That night, the Brazilian not only passed Musumeci’s world-renowned guard but secured a match-ending north-south choke for the stunning upset.

Since then, “Darth Rigatoni” has gone on an absolute tear, claiming the inaugural ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Title while racking up a 14-match winning streak to firmly establish himself as one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound grapplers.

Looking back on their first encounter, the New Jersey native recalls Sousa’s impressive physicality and aggression – things he welcomes in the rematch.

Musumeci told onefc.com:

“He’s aggressive. I want him to be aggressive. I want him to come at me, and I’m gonna come at him.”

While the flyweight submission grappling king always trains hard and showcases the best jiu-jitsu the world has ever seen, he seems to have kicked it into another gear while preparing for Sousa.

For many fans and pundits, the matchup represents a clash between a master technician in Musumeci and an explosive and tireless athlete in Sousa.

However, an uncharacteristically emotional “Darth Rigatoni” says that he’s ready to meet his foe’s aggression with his own physicality and is primed for an all-out war:

I have this f****** crazy mindset right now. And I don’t have patience. I have ADHD. I don’t want him to f****** stay back. I want him to f****** come at me like a missile. Let him have his power. Let him have his strength. I’m f****** ready for it.

“And I want him to dogfight with me. And then we’ll see who’s standing after that. We’ll see if I get f***** up. We’ll see if I f*** him up. We’ll see. That’s what’s awesome about these matches. It pushes our will.”

Back in 2021, Musumeci was less than a year into his no-gi grappling career after conquering the world of gi jiu-jitsu several times over.

Since then, he has improved by leaps and bounds in all aspects – technique, athleticism, and mindset. Ultimately, he’s confident that those improvements have out-paced whatever Sousa has been doing for the past three years.

Musumeci said:

“I’m a whole f****** different person. And he is too. He got way more technical too, of course, probably in that span of time. He worked hard too and got better. So now it’s like the question is, did I improve enough to win this match? And I believe I did.”

Musumeci Focused On Physical Preparations For Sousa

Mikey Musumeci is already known for his epic, hours-long training sessions, but he’s stepped it up to an entirely new level for his rematch with Gabriel Sousa.

It’s his intense preparation and newfound devotion to developing his athleticism that gives him supreme confidence going into ONE 167:

“I see myself winning. First of all, I’m very confident in my preparation. I did everything f****** right, dude. I’m scary right now [with] how prepared I am.

“I’ve never been this good. I haven’t been this mentally focused as an athlete in five or six years.”

“Darth Rigatoni” remains obsessed with every nuance of jiu-jitsu technique. But in his training camp for Sousa, he’s embraced the lifestyle of a professional athlete, giving just as much attention to his physical preparation as his technical.

He said:

“I really put myself to have the best chances to win this match, I believe, and I worked very f****** hard. And I became an athlete again. I’m not just a jiu-jitsu hobbyist bum training. Literally, that’s all I was doing for five years is just training in my garage with hobbyists.

“I’ve gotten so much f****** better, dude. Physically, technically, everything. I’m an athlete again. When your skill level is really much higher than your other opponents, I didn’t really have to focus on being an athlete.”

To that end, Musumeci has enlisted the help of world-renowned strength and conditioning coach Sam Calavitta.

Now, with a new focus on athleticism, he thinks Sousa is in for a surprise on June 7:

“My strength is significantly more than 2021, like 10 times more. I’m working with coach Cal from Treigning Lab. He’s a sports scientist. He works with all the best athletes for the U.S. Olympic wrestling and UPenn, and Oklahoma — all these college wrestling places. And he’s been really working on my nervous system, getting it strong.”

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