With Lessons Learned From World Title Loss, Osamah Almarwai Ready To Unveil New Tricks Against Cleber Sousa

Mikey Musumeci Osamah Almarwai ONE Fight Night 10 58

Yemeni-Saudi Arabian grappling star Osamah Almarwai is looking to make a statement in his sophomore appearance in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

On March 1 at ONE 166: Qatar, “Osa” will lock horns with Cleber “Clandestino” Sousa in a flyweight submission grappling match that has the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world buzzing with excitement.

Slated to go down at the beautiful Lusail Sports Arena, that matchup will come 10 months after Almarwai’s ONE debut last year – an unsuccessful World Title bid against reigning divisional kingpin Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci.

As the first-ever Middle Eastern IBJJF Black Belt World Champion, the 31-year-old is accustomed to winning at the highest levels.

So, even though he was devastated by the loss, Almarwai maintained his championship mindset and never stopped looking for ways to improve.

He told onefc.com:

“I believe I can just adjust a lot of things, learn from my match. That’s something I feel a lot of people don’t like to do, watching their matches and learning from them. I asked my coaches, I was like,  ‘What did I do wrong?’”

Training under the careful guidance of Atos head coach Andre Galvao and alongside fellow ONE superstars Kade and Tye Ruotolo, Almarwai spent months preparing for his clash with “Darth Rigatoni.”

While he admits that certain elements of that contest felt foreign, he was ultimately proud of his meticulous preparations. With that in mind, he’s been able to swallow the defeat and move forward:

“The cage, you know, even though I did the training in the cage, I trained by the wall, it was different, man. 

“I trained for every scenario I could imagine. And I did my best. And actually, this gives me a relief, to be honest with you. I slept that night peacefully.”

Now training up to 30 hours per week in preparation for his return, Almarwai is driven not necessarily by global fame or another notch in his win column. 

Instead, he’s enjoying the process, motivated to simply be the best martial artist possible and the best version of himself: 

“I’m happy, you know, happy doing my best and learning from my experiences.

“I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t do my best. And this is what I’m doing now, preparing for Cleber. I’m pushing myself to even new limits.”

Almarwai: ‘Wrestling Has Improved My Jiu-Jitsu’

Osamah Almarwai is pulling out all the stops in his training camp for Cleber Sousa.

The Yemeni-Saudi Arabian standout is plenty familiar with his foe’s game. Although they have never met in competition, “Osa” has been carefully studying “Clandestino.”

He recognizes that the Brazilian is a dangerous and dynamic athlete whose short stature makes him difficult to wrap up in leg entanglements.

For instance, Almarwai points out that Sousa was able to go the distance in his own unsuccessful World Title shot against Mikey Musumeci:

“I know his game. I know he’s very he’s strong, explosive. I know he has smaller legs. We saw his match against Mikey. Mikey wasn’t able to catch his legs. So this is something I have to be ready for.

“I’ve been studying him, like even yesterday, I watched his all his matches. I always watch his matches and rewatch them. And I’m really taking this very, very seriously.”

In order to deal with his opponent’s explosive, scramble-heavy game, Almarwai has added an extra focus on wrestling to his training camp.

Already renowned for his elite guard game and world-class guard passing, the BJJ star says that wrestling represents the final piece of his complete skill set.

“I’m doing a lot of wrestling, and I feel wrestling has improved my jiu-jitsu, my mindset, and my conditioning so much. Like I do wrestling with wrestlers, you know, like a wrestling class, just pure wrestling. And they push you. I’ve never been pushed like this. 

“This is something I feel I needed to get – the takedowns. And I feel I’m going to be confident standing up, on top, on bottom. My guard was already good. So I feel this is the advantage that I have over Cleber – being well-rounded in all places, having answers to all his attempts.”

Given all the work he’s put into his wrestling, it’s no surprise that Almarwai plans to showcase his new arsenal on March 1.

From takedowns to submission attempts and everything in between, he says fans can expect nonstop aggression for as long as his match against Sousa lasts:

“I want to showcase my wrestling and how much improved. Take him down, pass his guard, mount him, and submit him. This is the perfect scenario. I know Cleber is a tough guy. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going to try my best. 

“And regardless, I want to give the fans a good show. I’m going to push the pace for 10 minutes. I’ve been training for way longer than this in classes, so I know I can push the pace for 10 minutes. I’m going to be pushing the pace the whole time, and hopefully, I can break him.”

More in News

Superlek Kiatmoo9 Rodtang Jitmuangnon ONE Friday Fights 34 55
Victoria Souza Noelle Grandjean ONE Fight Night 20 9
Smilla Sundell Allycia Hellen Rodrigues ONE Fight Night 14 25
Yamin PK Saenchai Zhang Jinhu ONE Friday Fights 33 29
Hiroki Akimoto makes his way to the Circle at ONE 163
Nong O Hama Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai ONE Friday Fights 51
Tye Ruotolo Izaak Michell ONE Fight Night 21 64
Regian Eersel Alexis Nicolas ONE Fight Night 21 12
Jake Peacock Kohei Shinjo ONE Friday Fights 58 65
Ben Tynan Duke Didier ONE Fight Night 21 7
Superbon Marat Grigorian ONE Friday Fights 95
Kade Ruotolo Francisco Lo ONE Fight Night 21 57