Mikey Musumeci describes win over Shinya Aoki as “special moment”

By BJPENN.COM Staff - October 9, 2023

ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci found great meaning in his victory over Shinya Aoki in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mikey Musumeci

Both men faced off against each other in an openweight submission grappling contest at ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video this past Friday, October 6, at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

Right from the outset, it was evident that “Darth Rigatoni” had come prepared to put on a show. He wasted no time in taking control of the match, drawing Aoki into his guard.

From there, he applied a painful heel hook, forcing the former ONE Lightweight MMA World Champion to tap out.

For Musumeci, this win over Aoki was more than just another mark on his ledger. It was a dream come true.

“Tobikan Judan” was one of the many grapplers who Musumeci looked up to when he began his martial arts journey.

“For me, this is such a special victory, doing this particular move on the creator [of that technique], the legend Shinya Aoki, and it’s such an honor to face him,” he said.

“I kept telling him that. Before the match when I was in the ring, I went up to him and said, ‘It’s an honor to face you, professor.’”

In fact, Musumeci became a die-hard fan of ONE Championship largely because of Aoki’s exploits inside the Circle.

“Shinya was the first match I ever saw in ONE Championship. So you know how special that is to be facing the guy who made me a fan of ONE,” he said.

In reflecting on his symbolic triumph, Musumeci recognized the responsibility that comes with it.

“I think that this match has a lot to do with martial arts in general — the master passing on the torch to the student. His generation inspired my generation, and me defeating Shinya represents martial arts where the master passes it on to the next generation,” he said.

“I’ll eventually get beat by someone from the next generation, and so on. I think that’s the beauty of martial arts.”

Mikey Musumeci says no to MMA fight against Shinya Aoki

Despite his victory over Shinya Aoki in submission grappling, Mikey Musumeci has no plans of facing the Japanese legend in the all-encompassing sport.

“I have no interest in facing Shinya in MMA. He would absolutely murder me,” Musumeci said in jest.


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