ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong has just revealed that the promotion has been attempting to book an incredible mixed rules fight between Demetrious Johnson and Mikey Musumeci. This would not only be a fantastic matchup from a technical point of view, but it also has a ton of traction thanks to the fact that the two elite competitors have been circling each other for quite some time. Musumeci started the idea back in 2022 when he revealed that he was interested in a grappling match with Johnson, but the prospect of a match has only picked up steam since then.
Johnson quickly answered the request and was interested in taking on Musumeci in his own sport, something that would undoubtedly be one of the most difficult challenges of his combat sports career. Although he’s not known for competing in grappling, Johnson has actually won a gold medal in the gi at the IBJJF Master World Championship just last year. Obviously the difference in the level of competition he faced throughout that run and the level that Musumeci has won gold medals at is huge of course.
Despite both Johnson and Musumeci being interested in the grappling match, it hasn’t come to fruition yet and Johnson has stuck to MMA instead. He hasn’t been seen in action since he won the trilogy with Adriano Moraes at ONE Fight Night 10 though, so naturally the topic of his future came up when Chatri Sityodtong was interviewed recently. That’s when Sityodtong revealed the news:
“We have been trying to get DJ (Demetrious Johnson) a superfight, a super mixed-rules fight between DJ and Mikey Musumeci, the current flyweight grappling world champion. I think that would be a spectacular fight as well.”
Unlike Musumeci, Johnson is actually no stranger to mixed rules fights as he famously beat Muay Thai legend Rodtang Jitmuangnon in one back in 2022. Although this might seem like a fantasy, it’s worth remembering that Johnson’s previous mixed rules fight was also seen as impossible at first. To make things more interesting, Musumeci has recently been seen diversifying his skillset by training in Muay Thai under the guidance of the elite coaches at Superbon Training Camp. Although the fight might seem possible, Sityodtong explained that there is still something in the way:
“I think DJ is kind of more right now in cruise control after having won his last title fight and when he is ready he will let us know when he wants to fight. He says he doesn’t have the burning desire, but he hasn’t retired yet, so I think DJ has a few more fights left in him to be honest…”
It would be understandable if Johnson was taking some time off, after all he is 37 years old and has already had 30 professional MMA fights. Musumeci on the other hand is much younger than Johnson at 28 years old and although he doesn’t have experience in mixed rules fights, he has had hundreds of grappling matches during his journey through the colored belt ranks and at black belt. Sityodtong thinks this is the right type of challenge to really put the icing on the cake of Johnson’s combat sports career:
The full interview with Chatri Sityodtong where he explains that they are attempting to book a mixed rules fight between Demetrious Johnson and Mikey Musumeci was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of BJPenn.com: