Demetrious Johnson has recently had shared his opinions on a potential grappling match with Mikey Musumeci, and fans might be pleasantly surprised to hear what he had to say. While it might seem like an unusual match at first, this is far from the first time that it has been discussed. Shortly before Musumeci even won his flyweight submission grappling world title, he actually expressed his desire for a match with Johnson and seemed more than eager to test himself against the UFC and ONE Championship legend. While Johnson’s career as an MMA fighter has meant that he’s a solid grappler to begin with, he also spends plenty of time training with some of the best grapplers on the planet too.
It was reported in Sportskeeda that while Johnson is actually interested in the match with Musumeci, he’s also got some pretty understandable reservations about the whole thing as well:
“Yeah, I’m probably down to grapple with Mikey Musumeci. I mean, he’s a wizard. I think with me, we’d grapple before we even grappled in the circle. I told him, I was like: ‘Dude, once you grab my legs, I’m tapping because I am not going to play that game and test my flexibility.’”
Realistically, any professional MMA fighter is going to be hesitant to put his knees on the line when that could detail his career. It’s not just general caution for Johnson though, as he went on to explain that he’s actually had previous knee injuries in the past too:
“I’ve had tears in my LCL and MCL before just fighting in mixed martial arts because my knees are pretty tight. So yeah, I’m totally down to do that. But I’m going to tap extremely fast. I don’t have the resilience that Gantumur (Bayanduuren) has with my knees.”
What Demetrious Johnson is referencing here is the last title-defence that Mikey Musumeci had at ONE Fight Night 6, where he ended up winning a unanimous decision against Bayanduuren. The end result is a little misleading however, because although Musumeci didn’t finish his opponent, he caused more damage in that ten-minute fight than many competitors suffer in their entire career. Bayanduuren refused to tap, but he ended up with a torn ACL, MCL, and Meniscus, along with a broken ankle because of it. As the current ONE Championship flyweight MMA world champion, these kinds of injuries are simply something that Johnson cannot risk.