Asian MMA

Fired Up Mikey Musumeci Talks Motivation, Physical Gains Ahead Of ONE 167

Image for Fired Up Mikey Musumeci Talks Motivation, Physical Gains Ahead Of ONE 167

At ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II, Mikey Musumeci gets a shot at redemption. The talented ONE Championship grappler will square off against Gabriel Sousa, the last man to defeat him. The matchup has Musumeci chomping at the bit for the bell to ring on June 7.

Jiu Jitsu Superstar Mikey Musumeci is “. . .f***** ready. . .” for ONE 167

The ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion will move up to bantamweight for the match. The submission ace hopes it will be a high-paced affair from the outset, so much so that he has practically begged Sousa to be just as aggressive as he plans to be.

“I have this f****** crazy mindset right now. And I don’t have patience. I have ADHD. I don’t want him to f****** stay back. I want him to f****** come at me like a missile. Let him have his power. Let him have his strength. I’m f****** ready for it. And I want him to dogfight with me. And then we’ll see who’s standing after that. We’ll see if I get f***** up. We’ll see if I f*** him up. We’ll see. That’s what’s awesome about these matches. It pushes our will,” Musumeci remarked to ONE.

The first match took place in 2021. The Brazilian finished “Darth Rigatoni” with a north-south choke, but since then, the American has ascended to new heights in the sport. But Musumeci is confident this rematch will feature two brand new versions of both men.

“I’m a whole f****** 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,” the BJJ ace said.

Musumeci is supremely confident, telling ONE he considers himself a scary athlete. Considering his success on the global stage thus far, it is easy to see how his confidence could build to this apex. “Darth Rigatoni” believes he is peaking mentally and physically.

According to the American star, a large reason is a renewed dedication to the sport. Now, on a massive platform, Musumeci has changed his focus to train as a true professional athlete. He has left no stone unturned and is becoming the best possible version of himself.

“I really put myself to have the best chances to win this match, I believe, and I worked very f****** 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. I’ve gotten so much f****** 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,” Musumeci detailed.

With ONE 167 nearing, Musumeci is ready to show off all of his hard work. Specifically, considering the match is at bantamweight, he is preparing to show his newly developed strength. Motivated by the thought of defeating Sousa, Musumeci’s return is sparking interest in what his new physical form will be in Bangkok.

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

ONE 167 airs live on Friday, June 7, from the Impact Arena in Bangkok. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free on Prime Video for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.

Share this article

Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.