Mikey Musumeci (L) (ONE Championship)

Mikey Musumeci Reflects on Battle with Jarred Brooks at ONE Fight Night 13

Mikey Musumeci continued his reign over the flyweight submission grappling division when ONE Championship returned to U.S. primetime at ONE Fight Night 13 on Friday, Aug. 4.

Standing in his way was strawweight MMA king Jarred Brooks, who, despite making his debut in Musumeci’s sport at the thrilling event, was no slouch of an opponent.

He threw everything he could at “Darth Rigatoni.” But after just over seven minutes of action, the defending world champion found a triangle-armbar submission to score the win. Despite the result, the gameness of Brooks left Musumeci impressed.


“He’s a real champion. Champions put themselves in uncomfortable positions. And they push themselves for growth. And he had no ego. He dropped his ego to come out here and grapple with me. And that’s what I define as a champion. So again, I have so much respect for that guy,” he told ONE.

Brooks entered as a significant underdog, but his performance showcased how good his ground game is beyond just wrestling.

Musumeci credited “The Monkey God” for shooting his shot at a second ONE title, and he compared him to the very best he has faced in his career.

“Man, I grapple with so many high-level people, and he’s super tough and durable, super strong. I was really impressed by how he was hand-fighting me in closed guard. He was awesome, and again, props to him. He’s a warrior. He’s a world champion in MMA, and he took a match with me in jiu-jitsu, going out of his comfort zone,” the grapping superstar stated.

“Darth Rigatoni” has continually been open about his battles beyond those he takes on in competition. With his latest world title defense, he continued to publicly discuss struggles that he comes up against regularly.

“I get so much anxiety before these matches. It’s not about winning to me anymore. It’s about doing cool sequences, making it exciting so we can keep jiu-jitsu on this platform. It’s still tentative. If these matches don’t get finishes, these MMA and Muay Thai fans are just going to go to the bathroom during jiu-jitsu matches, and we’re going to lose jiu-jitsu on this platform. I got to keep it exciting,” Musumeci explained.

Despite having to face such issues, the flyweight submission grappling king knows he is not alone in elevating the sport to new heights. He also touts the dynamic duo of his fellow ONE superstars, the Ruotolo brothers, Kade and Tye.

With the expansive reach that the world’s largest martial arts organization has, Musumeci is ecstatic to see the sport grow each time he makes his way to the ring. And he hopes that it will continue to open doors for the next generation of grappling stars.

“The Ruotolos and I are basically the frontier people doing this, and we have to keep these matches exciting so we could keep it on this platform. And then the next generation could make money doing jiu-jitsu also like we are now. I don’t want people to have to feel that they have to do anything or another profession in order to make money. So we’re so blessed,” he said.