Mikey Musumeci (ONE Championship)

Mikey Musumeci Discusses His Title Defense Against Osamah Almarwai

ONE Flyweight submission grappling world champion Mikey Musumeci is set to defend his title on home soil for the first time at ONE Championship’s debut U.S. event on May 5.

The American grappling phenom will meet Osamah Almarwai in one of three flyweight title tilts at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III inside 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo.

Musumeci has already delivered three incredible performances in his time at the Singapore-based promotion, including his last title defense where he shredded the leg of his opponent with his trademark “Mikey Lock.” But the world champion isn’t finished yet, and he’s looking for another highlight-reel finish in his upcoming bout.


“How I am in training, I come up with these really cool sequences, and I store them in my mind. And I have, like, how many right now? I would say six Holy Grail sequences in my mind that I have on standby. And I just want to hit one of these six, especially in this match,” Musumeci said.

“I mean, what I do is I eventually hit these holy grail moves on everyone in training. And now it’s like, okay, I did it in training; now do it in competition. That’s the next level, doing it in a setting where everyone’s watching you and you’re nervous. So that’s the mean mastery of a move, and it gives me validation that the move is legit when I could finally do it in a match like this.”

The constant evolution of his game inspires “Darth Rigatoni,” and it is one of the reasons he has such a deep passion for the sport.

There is no resting or reaching the end as far as he’s concerned – there’s only learning.

“And it’s crazy how I still am figuring out and developing new things. Eventually, you think they would stop because you’re training for 22 years, you’re doing a move, and that should be it. It’s going to be done. But then I go to training today or tomorrow, and I still got a new thing. And it’s like, how did I just come up with something new? It’s crazy,” Musumeci said.

The 26-year-old star believes that ONE is helping to push submission grappling to new frontiers with its global rule set, and he expects the American fanbase to be on the edge of their seat when they see it live.

The rules place an emphasis on finishing the match, leaving no room to play a game of points in an effort to pick up the victory, and Musumeci says that focus helps to keep the action pulsing.

“I don’t have to think of all these different strategies and advantages. And I could just go in and try to finish the fight. So I don’t really care where the fight is. Am I a wrestler? Definitely not. But when I’m talking about pure jiujitsu on the floor, I don’t care if I’m on top. I don’t care if I’m at the bottom. I’m prepared to go anywhere in this match,” he said.

“I told you, I study this all day. And I’m really excited. It’s an honor for me to compete with Osamah. He’s a great competitor and the first no-gi black belt world champion from the Middle East. It’s so cool. We’re growing jiu-jitsu for the whole world and doing it on my home soil- America.”

Although Almarwai is already an IBJJF world champion in his own right, Musumeci believes the spectacle of ONE will cause him to feel the pressure to perform leading up his promotional debut.

It is, after all, the biggest show in they company’s history. So, the lights will be shining brighter than ever.

With multiple bouts under his belt inside the Circle, Musumeci is comfortable on the global stage, meaning he won’t have to face that same stress. Nonetheless, he’s still preparing for anything to happen when their World Title tussle kicks off.

“So the question is going to be: does Osamah have counters to my attacks? And do I have answers to his counters? Do I? I prepare every second too. I’m on the mat every second, studying and trying to figure out every reaction the person could give me when I’m attacking them. So will I have the answers to Osamah’s reactions? We’ll see,” he said.

ONE Fight Night 10 begins on Friday, May 5, across all ONE platforms at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The main card is live and free on Prime Video for all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.