In short, 2022 is a good year for the multi-time grappling world champion. Newly crowned flyweight wrestling world champion ONE remains on the 9th floor after beating his Brazilian opponent Cleber Sousa during the co-main event at ONE on Prime Video 2.
In a post-match interview at ONE on Prime Video 2, the 26-year-old star explains how the organization is changing its preconceived notions of Brazil-jiu-jitsu as a sport without spectators. The promotion does this by giving athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents on a world-renowned platform:
“I remember telling all my friends [that] all five times that i won [in] black belt [during] the world is still like 10% of the public and the recognition you get for winning a match in ONE. So it just tells you how big the platform is and what they’re doing for athletes. You know, we all work hard and train really hard. So all these athletes deserve to be recognized for how hard they trained. And ONE is giving us the platform we deserve. I am so grateful to be on this platform and I thank Chatri so much for this opportunity. “
On September 30, millions of US subscribers tuned in to watch the grappling phenom compete for the inaugural flyweight wrestling championship. ‘Darth Rigatoni’ garnered great fan interest and went viral again in April by introducing grappling veteran Masakazu Imanari.
Mikey Musumeci is still aghast to learn that his match against Imanari garnered far more attention in the mainstream media than his five IBJJF world title wins combined.
Mikey Musumeci wants to share the rug with MMA icon Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson
Mikey Musumeci still wanted to create another song ending for his fans. Although he didn’t quite get the results he wanted with Cleber Sousa, he believes a grappling match with Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson maybe one of the history books.
In his post-fight interview with Mitch Chilson, Mikey Musumeci said:
“I know he and I can bring MMA and jiu-jitsu fans together and it will be an incredible, historic event. It would be an honor to step onto the ring with him.”
Johnson was also crowned this year as the new flyweight world champion at MMA after defeating former flyweight champion Adriano Moraes at ONE on Prime Video 1. In previous interviews, Johnson said he looking forward to taking on the former weight class champion in Kairat ‘The Kazakhstan ‘ Akhmetov, who has accumulated 5 consecutive victories over the past four years.
While a grappling match might be the last thing on his mind, ‘Mighty Mouse’ has never backed down from its chance to make history again. Perhaps playing the history card might even prompt Johnson to accept Musumeci’s respectful appeal sooner than that.