Shinya Aoki is scheduled to face Mikey Musumeci in a grappling match at ONE Fight Night 15 on October 6th, 2023 and it’s clear that he’s excited at the prospect of facing the new challenge head-on. Aoki is no stranger to grappling matches of course, as he’s competed in several across his career and even once challenged himself at ADCC. He’s always focused much more on his MMA career but at one point he was one of the most talented grapplers in the lighter weight classes and has used his elite grappling to win dozens of fights.
“I am really looking forward to the match on October 6 against Mikey Musumeci, and I am excited to meet him in the ring in Thailand. I hope we can make a good 10 minutes for both of us; so see you then, Mikey.”
Although Aoki has spent significantly longer than Musumeci competing for ONE Championship, he thinks that his opponent is the one who actually be able to make better use of their submission grappling ruleset:
“I think that being flexible and able to attack from the bottom in a variety of ways is (Musumeci’s) strong point. I think the rules in ONE (Championship) fit Mikey very well. if you’re on the ground and attack from below, you won’t get a negative point. In that sense, I think the rule set is a plus for him.”
One thing that’s remained a constant throughout Aoki’s career is that he’s an incredibly exciting competitor and he always hunts for the finish in any of his matches. Now that he’s coming up against one of the best grapplers on the planet in Mikey Musumeci, it might be tempting for Shinya Aoki to try to game the ruleset in order to squeeze out a win. According to him though, his approach is going to be no different to any other match in his career:
“In this match, I won’t apply psychological techniques or cheap tricks. I will just get in the ring wearing only my pants and give a performance to show who I am. It will be a match where we will forcefully fight each other. I am determined to do my best against him.”