Mikey Musumeci calls openweight submission grappling bout with Shinya Aoki “a cool science experiment”

By BJPENN.COM Staff - September 1, 2023

For Mikey Musumeci, his next assignment is not solely about personal glory.

Mikey Musumeci Shinya Aoki

The reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion has a grander vision in mind. It’s a goal that extends beyond the confines of the mats.

“Darth Rigatoni” takes on Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in an openweight submission grappling contest on October 6. The showdown is part of ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video, which airs live on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service.

Musmeci sees his matchup with “Tobikan Judan” as a massive opportunity to display the true essence of “the gentle art.”

“I think that I’m able to really show the art of jiu-jitsu when I compete, and that’s what I want to show in this match,” he told ONEFC.com.

“And I want to show it against a bigger opponent, which is what jiu-jitsu stands for — being able to defeat someone bigger than you.”

Aoki has extensive experience and accolades in MMA and grappling. However, he also brings a significant size advantage to this bout.

Acknowledging the enormity of the task ahead, Musumeci is aware of the obstacles that lie in his path.

“Kade Ruotolo, the 170-pound champion, fought [Aoki] and couldn’t finish. So I’m going up in weight and fighting a guy that the champion couldn’t finish,” he said.

“Shinya is a tough guy to finish, so it’s going to be a very interesting match.”

Mikey Musumeci believes ‘leverage’ will be key against Shinya Aoki

Mikey Musumeci’s approach to this match is a reflection of his broader mission. He aims to prove that technique, strategy, and skill can triumph over raw physicality.

“I’m on this path where I want to have the most technical finishes that I can, where I use my body to the maximal way to get the amount of leverage I need to finish a guy bigger than me. So it’s definitely a puzzle for me, and it definitely makes it like a cool science experiment,” he said.

“Will my submission mechanics be efficient enough to finish a guy bigger than me like Shinya?”

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Mikey Musumeci ONE Championship Shinya Aoki