Mikey Musumeci discovers life’s true calling despite mother’s disapproval

By BJPENN.COM Staff - May 21, 2024

Mikey Musumeci‘s journey to becoming one of the top grapplers today has been anything but ordinary.

Mikey Musumeci

Despite his success on the mats, the reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion has had to fight tooth and nail every step of the way to reach his current status.

Musumeci’s foray into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu commenced at the tender age of 4, a time when most children were just learning to tie their shoelaces.

But instead of playgrounds and cartoons, his world revolved around training and competing. Displaying an innate talent for the sport, he quickly emerged as a prodigy.

Yet, amid the applause and accolades, there was a voice of hesitation — his mother’s.

“My mom didn’t even want me to compete. I was like 13, 12 years old. She’s like, ‘Please, no more competing.’ She hated it, she she was horrified of me competing,” Musumeci said.

Like many BJJ parents, his mother found it agonizing to watch her son engage in the physical rigors of competition.

However, fate had other plans. With each victory, Musumeci’s passion for BJJ only grew stronger, fueling his desire to excel.

“She’s like, ‘Alright, just win one more tournament and then no more competing, please.’ I was gonna be competing at NAGA at this time, and I’m like, ‘Mom, I want another belt.’ I won another belt, so I fought again and then I’d win a belt,” he said.

“And then I’m like, ‘Wait, wait, one more tournament, please!’ And then I ended up just keeping competing.”

Perhaps paradoxically, Musumeci credits his mother’s initial reluctance to solidify his dedication to the sport.

“My parents never pushed me to compete or train. My mom just wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer, honestly,” he said.

“She didn’t even want me to do jiu-jitsu, so I feel like because they didn’t push us, it came from us to actually want to do this.”

Mikey Musumeci booked for back-to-back matches

As Mikey Musumeci prepares to embark on his next challenges, his mother may find herself dealing with conflicting emotions once more.

“Darth Rigatoni” moves up to bantamweight to face Gabriel Sousa — the last man to defeat him — in a non-title submission grappling clash at ONE 167 on Prime Video this June 7.

However, the story doesn’t end there. Musumeci will report for duty again at ONE 168: Denver on September 6. There, he squares off with Kade Ruotolo for the latter’s ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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