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5 Things You Need To Know About Mikey Musumeci Ahead Of ‘The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition’ Season 2

ONE Championship | December 11, 2023 |

ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci is vying for the title of “The Apprentice” in the show’s upcoming second season, which airs on Netflix in Asia on Thursday, December 28.

The American superstar is one of the best grapplers on the planet and hasn’t lost a match since making his ONE Championship debut in April 2022. Moreover, he would win the organization’s first-ever submission grappling belt in September 2022.

Before he puts his business acumen to the test, here are five things that you need to know about the man they call “Darth Rigatoni.”

#1 He Enjoys A Unique Diet

There aren’t too many successful athletes who can eat pizza and pasta every single night, but Musumeci is a rare breed.

“Darth Rigatoni” earned his nickname due to his love of Italian food, as well as his fierce determination in competition.

The 27-year-old is famous for his shocking eating habits. After fasting through punishing training sessions during the day, Musumeci returns home in the evening and feasts on a large serving of homemade pizza and pasta. Occasionally, he may finish his meal with a pint of ice cream.

It’s hard to argue with Musumeci’s methods. After all, he is a ONE World Champion with a shredded physique and an enviable competitive record (63-5).

#2 His Sister Is Also A Grappling Star

Mikey isn’t the only Musumeci doing big things on the global stage.

His older sister, Tammi, also calls ONE Championship home and like her brother, she hasn’t tasted defeat in her promotional tenure.

The 29-year-old started her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey alongside her little brother at a young age, and both of their careers have shown remarkable parallels. They are both BJJ World Champions as black belts and now, they are two of the most recognizable submission grapplers in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

#3 He’s A 5-Time BJJ World Champion

Given Musumeci’s list of accolades, it’s not hard to see why he has long been considered one of the best grapplers on the planet.

The Evolve MMA representative has a staggering five IBJJF World Championships to his name as a black belt, with four coming in the gi category and one in the no-gi class.

Musumeci’s first IBJJF World Title came in 2016 when he was just 19 years old. The American made history once again three years later when he scored the fastest-ever submission in an IBJJF World Championship Final, needing just 12 seconds to hit his signature “Mikey Lock” to claim another crown.

#4 He’s A Passionate Mental Health Advocate

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Musumeci, however. 

The flyweight submission grappling king is open about his struggles with depression and regularly speaks out in support of others during his post-fight interviews.

Musumeci also advocates for mental health awareness on his social media channels, where he reaches out and interacts with fans to offer advice for those who might also be struggling.

#5 He Has Many Famous Friends

Musumeci’s incredible success has transformed him into the face of the grappling world.

That level of fame has seen him rub shoulders with some well-known personalities, forming relationships that would’ve seemed unlikely before submission-only bouts became a popular feature of ONE events.

The New Jersey native has become friends with Meta CEO and BJJ enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg, as well as ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon. Also, he appeared on the wildly popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.

Musumeci can be seen on social media rolling with Zuckerberg and sparring with Rodtang, as he shares his passion for martial arts with famous figures from all walks of life.