ONE Championship have just announced that Mikey Musumeci will be defending his Flyweight Submission Grappling title against Sambo world champion Sayan Khertek at ONE on Prime Video 6. Musumeci has yet to defend the belt that he won just a matter of months ago by defeating Cleber Sousa at ONE on Prime Video 2. Musumeci is the only grappler to hold the belt and has already beaten two opponents in the ONE Championship cage, as he earned a $50,000 bonus for submitting Masakazu Imanari back at ONE 156. So far Musumeci has been unstoppable during his time as a ONE Championship grappler, and as a multiple-time IBJJF world champion he’s going to be a tough opponent for anyone who stands across from him.
After his impressive title-winning performance, Musumeci issued an open challenge to Sambo world champions on his social media. The BJJ v Sambo rivalry is literally decades old, dating back to when BJJ competitions were not all that common and members of the Gracie family would have to compete in Sambo tournaments in order to get enough competition. Footage exists of Rigan Machado beating three different Sambo competitors as far back as 1994, and Rickson Gracie was a frequent face at Sambo tournaments too.
When it comes to the modern era, ONE Championship is attempting to bring back this rivalry and put it to bed once and for all. Kade Ruotolo won his Lightweight title by submitting a Sambo world champion, and Danielle Kelly submitted another one in her most recent appearance for the promotion. Now there will be another stage in that rivalry as Mikey Musumeci faces Sayan Khertek, a two-time Sambo world champion in 2017 and most recently in 2022.
The full ONE on Prime Video 6 event, including Mikey Musumeci attempting to defend his ONE Championship Flyweight Submission Grappling title against Sayan Khertek, will be available to watch live on January 13th on Amazon Prime, click here to subscribe and watch.