Mikey Musumeci has always been in love with how ONE Championship embodies the “Bushido Code”, or the eight virtues of the samurai. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why he decided to accept ONE President and CEO Chatri Sityodtong’s offer to sign with the promotion earlier this year.
Following his impressive performance against Mazakazu Imanari at ONE 156 last April, ‘Darth Rigatoni’ has further built his legend as one of the most recognizable stars on the grappling scene.
The 26-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace even has a shot at history. He will attempt to become ONE’s first flyweight grappling world champion at ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs Lee III this Friday, September 30.
Standing in his way will be a familiar foe in Cleber ‘Clandestino’ Sousa, whom Musumeci has previously fought twice and split their first two encounters. The stakes are high for his third contest, which will air live in US primetime on Prime Video.
Before the biggest fight of his life, Mikey Musumeci explained in detail why moving to ONE Championship was one of the best decisions of his life.
The American grappling sensation told ONE in an exclusive interview:
“What I really like about ONE is that it’s not a toxic environment. It’s very, not really that much talk. It’s just respect, you know, because it’s just martial arts. Chatri really values martial arts and respect. So the energy that she brings to the table really influences all athletes.”
It’s clear that ONE’s core values certainly align with Musumeci. So much so that the American even packed his bags and moved to Singapore to train at Evolve MMA full time.
Mikey Musumeci thinks trash talk is unnecessary in combat sports
Nowadays, combat sports and insults seem to go hand in hand. After all, it’s the fastest and easiest way to sell fights. Mikey Musumeci is familiar with unnecessary animosity as he was no different in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu scene.
The five-time IBJJF Black Belt World Champion shared in the same interview with ONE:
“There’s a toxic part of jiu-jitsu with all that talk and stuff, where people are trying to make money with talk. I’m not very comfortable with that. I’m a different kind of person, and I’m very introverted. I also have a lot of friends who are just like me, and they left jiu-jitsu because of that toxic way.”
Now that ‘Darth Rigatoni’ has a new home in the world’s largest martial arts organization, he’s thankful he doesn’t have to go through that again.
“I don’t really enjoy jiu-jitsu when that part is involved. Chatri gives us a format and a platform where we don’t have to be that kind of person, you know. I feel like in some places, people force people to do those things.”
Mikey Musumeci is truly one of a kind. He is an exemplary fighter within the circle, and a better person outside of it.
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