Five-time IBJJF world champion Mikey Musumeci has just become the latest BJJ star to sign a contract with ONE Championship, although his debut match has not yet been announced. ONE Championship has taken a unique approach to combat sports promotion as Chairman Chatri Sityodtong has decided to grow the business into one that is able to host fights under several different rulesets. The company has existed as an MMA promotion first and foremost but the presence of striking martial arts has grown steadily over the years.
Now, kickboxing and muay thai are just as much a part of their regular business as MMA is and Sityodtong has announced that he wants to eventually grow submission grappling to the same point, complete with titles and champions. The first grappling matches that ONE Championship put on were back in 2016 when the promotion staged a tournament under IBJJF rules, but they have steadily become more common since then. One of the key figures in the rise of submission grappling for ONE Championship has been Shinya Aoki, who has taken part in a number of grappling superfights for the promotion.
In 2021, ONE Championship pushed things forward into a whole new level when they signed one of the greatest grapplers in the history of the sport, Gordon Ryan. Plans for Ryan’s debut were eventually scuppered by his stomach issues, but he was originally scheduled to face Aoki in an openweight match. Since then, ONE Championship have kept the ball rolling and have signed a number of high-level grapplers to the organization. They quickly signed reigning ADCC superfight champion Andre Galvao, and followed that up with the signing of rising star Danielle Kelly.
ONE Championship are attempting to put together several grappling matches for a celebration of the promotion’s tenth birthday, and have already managed to book Andre Galvao to compete against two-division MMA champion Reinier De Ridder along with Danielle Kelly making her debut against Mei Yamaguchi. It remains to be seen if ONE Championship can book Mikey Musumeci for the same event on March 26th, but he will certainly be a big part of their plans moving forward.
The news that Mikey Musumeci had signed a contract with ONE Championship was announced in a post to the promotion’s official Instagram account: