Mikey Musumeci has now had his opponent announced for his ONE Championship debut and he will be facing none other than the legendary Masakazu Imanari. Musumeci has become the latest elite grappler to sign a contract with ONE Championship and fans have been wondering who he would be competing against seeing as the promotion has not signed any other grapplers anywhere near his weightclass. ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong was eager to welcome Musumeci and announced the news of his signing in a post to his social media accounts with the following message:
“Please join me in welcoming 5x Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Mikey Musumeci to ONE! He reached out directly to me a year ago, asking if he could join the world’s largest stage of martial arts. Needless to say, I have been a big fan for awhile. What I love most about Mikey is that he is a good guy with a good heart, but he is an absolute monster with killer instincts when he competes.
Welcome again to ONE, Mikey!”
The submission grappling division of ONE Championship is already well underway as the promotion has put together several matches between elite grapplers and some of it’s top existing competitors. Both Andre Galvao and Danielle Kelly have already made their promotional debuts at ONE X where both athletes ended up drawing against their respective opponents, Reinier de Ridder and Mei Yamaguchi. Now, Mikey Musumeci will be joining in and he too will be facing an MMA fighter known for their grappling prowess as Masakazu Imanari is a legend of the Japanese MMA scene.
Imanari is perhaps best known for his invention of one of the most popular techniques in submission grappling, the Imanari roll. It’s something that is practiced in gyms around the world and is almost certain to receive a round of applause whenever it’s performed in competition, thanks to it’s flashy and exciting nature. It’ll definitely be an interesting fight as Masakazu Imanari specialises in leglocks and that’s one area that Mikey Musumeci has been working on lately. Should Musumeci end up emerging victorious in his first match for ONE Championship then that could open up the door for an interesting match if he’s open to moving up in weight a little as both of the Ruotolo brothers have also been signed to the promotion.