Mikey Musumeci is one of the best grapplers on the planet, and he’s apparently open to making his MMA debut during the latter part of 2024. The writing has been on the wall that he might be making this transition for quite some time, ever since he signed a contract with ONE Championship really. Although that was done in order to become a champion in their submission grappling division, it’s no secret that ONE Championship love having their specialists crossover into MMA. To his credit, Musumeci has been embracing the idea wholeheartedly and even started training Muay Thai shortly after making his promotional debut.
He’s still stuck with submission grappling in the mean-time though, although he has faced a ONE Championship MMA world champion and submitted him under the more limited ruleset. So far he’s been practically flawless in his reign as the promotion’s flyweight submission grappling world champion despite any challenges he’s faced. Most recently he was seen submitting Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki with an Aoki lock, and he revealed after the match was over that he was actually very sick during the build-up.
He recently sat down for an interview with Sports Illustrated and explained to them why he continued with the fight despite feeling quite sick:
“I’m a big believer that one plus one equals two. Jiu-jitsu is a puzzle. It’s a math problem, and I was capable of doing it. I worked so hard on my Jiu-Jtsu during my camp. That month prior to getting sick, the work I put in is the reason I won. That’s why I was able to win.”
Although he met his commitments and excelled on the mat, Musumeci also explained that he wasn’t going to jump into his next fight without taking some time to himself:
“I need a few months without competing to let my body recover… And no more streetcar watermelon. F*ck that.”
The conversation with Mikey Musumeci eventually turned to the possibility of his MMA debut and he revealed that he’d actually had a date in 2024 in mind:
“Maybe at the end of 2024. I want to slowly learn and keep progressing. Once I’m a high-level blue belt, I’ll be ready. I need more preparation to determine when I’m in danger.”
This isn’t the first sign that he’s been taking the transition seriously either, as he’s sought out some of the best Muay Thai instruction on the planet. Musumeci is a professional fighter at the end of the day and no matter what ruleset he competes under, he’s still realistic about any gaps he needs to close:
“In standup, I’d put myself in positions where I could get knocked out, and I wouldn’t know. I need more time to study and progress.”
Even if his MMA debut does come at the end of 2024, it’s still too far away yet to start guessing a potential opponent for Mikey Musumeci. If the rest of his combat sports career is anything to go by though, he’ll likely pick a challenging opponent and rise to the occasion once the cage door closes.