Gabriel Sousa anticipates “very different” rematch against Mikey Musumeci at ONE 167

By BJPENN.COM Staff - May 22, 2024

Gabriel Sousa exudes confidence ahead of his highly anticipated rematch against Mikey Musumeci.

Gabriel Sousa

Both men will run it back in a bantamweight submission grappling contest at ONE 167 on Prime Video. This U.S. primetime event airs live from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 7.

Sousa enters the matchup as one of the select few to have submitted the reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion in competition.

This happened back in 2021, eliminating Musumeci in the quarterfinal round of a one-night grappling tournament.

But he acknowledges that their upcoming encounter presents a whole new challenge.

“It’s going to be very different. It will be on the ONE platform, something much bigger with a much larger audience and a much better structure,” he said.

“I’m happy for the opportunity and happy that Mikey agreed to fight me in a weight division above his.”

Despite his previous triumph, he refuses to rest on his laurels or view it as a determining factor in their second meeting.

“Mikey is an exceptional athlete. He is really badass and has an out-of-this-world guard game. He attacks the back very well, attacks footlocks, heel hooks, and kneebars very well and is one of the best athletes in the world,” the Brazilian said.

Gabriel Sousa guarantees encore performance against Mikey Musumeci

One notable difference in the rematch between Gabriel Sousa and Mikey Musumeci at ONE 167 on Prime Video is the time limit.

While their first duel allowed for a 15-minute window, this time Sousa has only 10 minutes to dispatch “Darth Rigatoni.”

But he sees this as an advantage rather than a hindrance.

“Last time, I trained for a championship that was longer. This time I’m focused just on him, and because of that, I think I’ll get even better,” he said.

“I’m sure he must have trained a lot, watched my fights a lot, and reviewed our fight, but I believe I’m a totally different grappler than when we fought in 2021. I think I’m a more complete athlete today and that will count for a lot.”

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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