While he was still recovering from a bout with food poisoning, Mikey Musumeci shined at ONE Fight Night 15. The American submission ace defeated Shinya Aoki with an Aoki lock to continue his impressive streak in ONE Championship. Beating the man who invented the submission has given Musumeci even more pride in his work.
“This is one of my biggest wins, I would say, for the fact that I did one of my favorite positions in modern jujitsu, the Aoki Lock, on Shinya, the creator of the position. [It’s] a position that I used when I competed in the gi and won many world titles is the straight foot lock. And a variation of the straight foot lock is the Aoki Lock. So I feel like the mastery of this position, you can’t get more mastery of the position than doing it on the creator of the position, right,” Musumeci told ONE.
Musumeci’s physical state was evident even from the weigh-ins. “Darth Rigatoni” was visibly under the weather and needed multiple attempts before making hydration for his openweight submission grappling match. When he made the walk to the cage, it was still clear he was not 100%.
However, the performance was a credit not only to his submission skills but also to his mental toughness. Now, knowing the perils of food poisoning, Musumeci is going to stick to what he knows best when leading into a match. Needless to say, watermelon is off the menu for the time being.
“I just got scared thinking about watermelon again. I’m freaked out from it. I got defeated by a watermelon last week. I’m sticking to only eating acai now. The problem when I got sick; I ate acai every night after training. Everyone knows this. But when I came to Thailand, finding good acai was [challenging] right away. So, I switched to watermelon. And I was eating just from Grab, which is Uber Eats in the US. I just kept ordering watermelon for like a month straight. And I didn’t get sick until this one day. So yeah, I’m back to acai. I found a good one here in Thailand, so I’m good,” Musumeci stated.
Musumeci’s focus is not just on his diet or submissions these days. The talented American is contemplating a move into mixed martial arts. In preparation for a move, Musumeci understands he needs to refine his striking technique.
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While in Thailand, he has been taking lessons from the best. Musumeci has shared gym time with Nong-O Hama and will be going to visit Rodtang Jitmuangnon to further his Muay Thai game. There is no timetable for a transition, but Musumeci is taking it step by step to ensure he is ready if he feels he can make a run in MMA.
“I feel like I could learn anything, and I have the discipline and work ethic to learn. So I have the right people helping me. Let’s see how long it takes me, but I definitely am interested in MMA. Never Muay Thai because I’ll never be good enough for a Muay Thai fight, but definitely MMA. I feel like I can get to like a blue-purple belt level in Muay Thai, then I’ll be good for MMA,” Musumeci said.