Reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci certainly elevated the world of submission grappling the moment he signed with ONE Championship.
But he also has lofty goals in MMA.
The soft-spoken American grappler talked about the possibility of competing in mixed martial arts in the future, and he believes he has the right people around him to make it happen.
“I definitely have a cool group of guys that could mentor and influence me into MMA eventually,” Musumeci said.
“I want to fight in the future. I would love to. I love challenging myself, and I love the challenge of it. I would love to make my jiu-jitsu work with punches being thrown. I think that would be the coolest thing ever.”
Should he make the transition to mixed martial arts, Musumeci would carry the same mindset that makes him one of the best submission grapplers in the world.
For the 26-year-old ground wizard, it’s all about taking it step-by-step, becoming a better fighter each day without thinking of becoming another champion.
After all, he knows that if perfection comes, gold will soon follow.
“When I think about doing MMA, I think of it just like I think of jiu-jitsu: mastering whatever I’m working on. In jiu-jitsu, I don’t think about being a champion. I think about just being the best at whatever I’m working on, perfecting my moves,” he said.
“That’s what makes me become a champion. It’s an indirect result. Being a champion, for me, is an indirect result because my goal is to have perfect jiu-jitsu.
“I feel like in stand-up, it will be the same thing. I’ll want to learn stand-up [so I could] be the best I can be in stand-up, and that [indirect] result will be me winning World Titles. I think my work ethic, how I train, and everything, is perfect to become an MMA World Champion.”
Should he decide to make the jump, he’ll be mixing it up with the beasts of the strawweight division, where monsters such as reigning king Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks, Filipino dynamo Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, and wrestling star Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane await.
“If I did MMA, I would be in the 125-pound division. I think I’m really physically strong for that weight class, so I think that – if I learn stand-up from these best guys – I would have a really good shot,” he said.