Mikey Musumeci reflects on emotional win over Gabriel Sousa: “It was just more about me finally shutting him up”

By BJPENN.COM Staff - June 12, 2024

Mikey Musumeci’s victory over Gabriel Sousa in their rematch at ONE 167 on Prime Video last Friday, June 7, stood out as a defining chapter in his storied career.

Mikey Musumeci

Moving up to bantamweight, the reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion needed just over three minutes to submit Sousa in front of a sold-out crowd at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

There, “Darth Rigatoni” forced his Brazilian rival to wave the white flag with a rare calf slicer.

In the aftermath of his victory, his emotions overflowed, leading to an uncharacteristically vulgar post-match interview.

The American phenom admitted that his anger took control of him, a testament to how much the second encounter against Sousa meant to him.

“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 said.

In fact, Sousa upped the ante during the contest’s buildup. This bravado had struck a nerve, bringing back memories of Musumeci’s childhood where he often faced similarly brash opponents.

This connection to his past tapped into an intense emotional reservoir that fueled his eagerness to win decisively.

“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,” Musumeci said.

“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.”

Mikey Musumeci closes chapter with Gabriel Sousa

With redemption earned and the weight of his initial loss to Gabriel Sousa lifted, Mikey Musumeci is now ready to move forward.

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

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Mikey Musumeci ONE Championship