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‘Angry’ Mikey Musumeci Recounts ONE 167 Win Over Gabriel Sousa

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Mikey Musumeci showed off his fiery side at ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II. In a match against the last man to beat him, Musumeci got his revenge. The ONE Championship‘s flyweight BJJ ace submitted Gabriel Sousa in just over three minutes of their bantamweight collision.

It was personal for Musumeci. Not simply because he lost to Sousa but because the Brazilian continued to pester Musumeci after the match. Three years later, the score was settled.

“So for three or four years, this guy harassed me for every match that I did, discrediting me, ‘Yo, he’s not fighting me, he’s scared of me, he’s running away from me,’ just over and over and over and over,” Musumeci expressed to ONE.

In his post-match interview, Musumeci discussed the bullying that came with this match. That resonated with the American and drove him to train harder than ever. After the match, he continued to explain why it played such a role in his mental preparation.

“It was just more about me finally shutting him up. The day before, he tried to make me flinch. He was walking chest out with me. And he brought out a part of me from when I was a kid. I’m not really a tough guy, and my whole life competing with these alpha macho people, and they always would act tough, and I like action. So it just brought out me as a kid, always dealing with this type of people,” the flyweight king remarked.

The anger he felt was palpable throughout the Impact Arena. There was no hiding those emotions on a night filled with emotional responses. Apologetic, Musumeci bore it all after the crucial victory over one of his biggest rivals.

“It brought out Little Mikey from when I was a kid, and my anger towards that personality and that person. But, again I got very emotional. I’m sorry, guys. But I just leave it all out there, you know,” Musumeci said.

Now, he can turn his attention to Kade Ruotolo, who made his MMA debut at ONE 167. The two BJJ superstars will collide at ONE 168: Denver this fall, and it will be for Ruotolo’s ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title. Moving up multiple divisions, Ruotolo remarked on how he would manage the move ahead of the super-fight.

“For me, it’s not about putting on weight. It’s about just feeling as strong as I could be, right? I’m afraid if I get too heavy, I’ll lose cardio and gas out in the first minute, especially because Kade has the best cardio,” Musumeci stated.

Musumeci is not abandoning the lower weights. For ONE 168, he will still need to add some weight to make the limit. The upcoming Musumeci vs. Ruotolo match is compelling from all fronts, and “Darth Rigatoni” is already eyeing his pathway to showing out at lightweight on September 6.

“I’ll definitely probably stay lighter, and maybe if I can, I’ll try to put on another 5 pounds of muscle. I feel like that would be a reasonable number, 10 pounds max. I was trying, for this match, to eat more protein, so that helped me get a little heavier. So maybe another 5 pounds, if that,” the American said.

Miss Musumeci vs. Sousa? Relive all of the action from ONE 167 at your leisure. ONE 167 is available on-demand on Prime Video.

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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.