Mikey Musumeci (L) (ONE Championship)

Mikey Musumeci Passionately Discusses His Upcoming Rematch with Gabriel Sousa

In 2021, Mikey Musumeci was submitted by Gabriel Sousa by north-south choke. Now, three years later, the grappling stars will run it back at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II.

The Friday, Jun. 7, meeting has “Darth Rigatoni” amped up for battle, and he hopes his Brazilian foe will come out guns blazing.

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


The ONE flyweight submission grappling champion is craving an all-out war on the mat inside the Impact Arena in Bangkok. Not mincing words, Musumeci is setting the stage for 2024’s most epic grappling encounter.

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

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

The rematch will take place in the bantamweight division, a step up for the American star. After three years of developing their respective skill sets, he knows they will come in as new athletes.

“I’m a whole fucking 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 said.

But that doesn’t mean ONE’s flyweight submission grappling king is lacking confidence. Quite the contrary, Musumeci is beaming going into the rematch against Sousa.

He ensures everyone that the best version of “Darth Rigatoni” will be marching toward the Circle on Jun. 7.

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

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

The credit for the confidence is due to his dedication to training. Bolstered by ONE’s global platform, Musumeci has renewed his spark to train as a true professional.

Always a fan of steeling his mind, the BJJ superstar has recently shifted attention to strengthening his body.

“I really put myself to have the best chances to win this match, I believe, and I worked very fucking 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,” Musumeci described.

“I’ve gotten so much fucking 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.”

His rematch with Sousa at ONE 167 will kick off a busy few months for “Darth Rigatoni.” Directly after his outing on Jun. 7, he’ll begin to train for his challenge of Kade Ruotolo’s ONE lightweight submission grappling title at ONE 168: Denver in September.

Another move up in weight will mean his body will be put under more stress, and Mususmeci has been preparing with the right team for such physical and mental outlay.

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

ONE 167 airs live and free on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Friday, Jun. 7, for all Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.