In the realm of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a sport renowned for producing legends and nurturing champions, one individual’s name shines brighter than the rest – Mikey Musumeci Jr. Often referred to as “Darth Rigatoni”, Musumeci’s unwavering passion for jiu-jitsu is truly awe-inspiring. He dedicates himself to daily training sessions akin to a well-oiled machine, tirelessly drilling for countless hours.
Undoubtedly, Mikey has achieved the remarkable feat of becoming a five-time World Jiu-Jitsu champion and has highlighted remarkable performances in the ONE Championship.
Unexpectedly, Mikey sustains his physical form solely by consuming pizza or pasta. Remarkably, he has battled depression throughout his existence, yet Jiu-Jitsu has proven invaluable in conquering this relentless adversary.
Discover the intriguing story of Mikey Musumeci, a name that shines brighter in the Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling worlds. Stay tuned and read this article until the very end!
Mikey Musumeci BJJ: Early Days and Diverse Training Locations
Michael Musumeci Jr. known as Mikey Musumeci, is an Italian-American grappler. He was born to Italian parents in Marlboro, New Jersey, on July 7, 1996.
His passion for Brazilian jiu-jitsu began at the age of four, with his sister Tammi, under the tutelage of instructor Fernando “Cabeça” at Fatjo’s Martial Arts Academy.
Mikey’s family began a new chapter at the age of ten, moving to the bustling town of Wellington, Florida. His persistent dedication to Brazilian jiu-jitsu found a new home under the tutelage of Ribeiro’s gym.
However, this relationship did not last long since Ribeiro relocated to Texas soon after. Musumeci later joined coach Emyr “Shark” Bussade of the American Top Team. Michael’s grappling abilities increased considerably at Bussade’s gym, allowing him to earn green and blue belts.
Mikey had the extraordinary opportunity to meet Guilherme and Rafael Mendes, two exceptional BJJ champions, during a seminar at Bassade’s Academy.
Mikey’s friendship with the Mendes brothers flourished due to their fascinating workshops. He gladly accepted individual classes at the Art of Jiu Jitsu (AOJ), taking up their expertise and improving his skills.
Michael recognized the priceless chance to learn from two of the most experienced competitors in the BJJ world.
Then, Michael’s family relocated south, where he joined Javill Byron’s gym at WMB Miami. Musumeci received his purple belt from Byron after winning his second world championship as a junior blue belt.
Years passed, and Mikey reconnected with coach Bussade at ATT Wellington and Jonatas Gurgel at ATT Aventura when his family relocated to Boca Raton, Florida.
In addition, he began teaching at the Jaco Training Center with his sister, Tammi Musumeci, where they met Gilbert Burns, who became a training partner and mentor.
Aside from that, Michael Musumeci kept in touch with the Mendes Brothers and visited their Art of Jiu-Jitsu training facility regularly.
In 2014, Guilherme Mendes gladly awarded Musumeci his brown belt when they both stood on the stage after capturing the purple belt world championship.
Musumeci reached the pinnacle of accomplishment in 2015, at 18, when Jonatas Gurgel and Gilbert Burns awarded him his well-deserved black belt.
Mikey then went on to work under the supervision of Caio Terra and Heath Pedigo in the following years.
Musumeci Jiu-Jitsu Competition Journey
Musumeci’s Main accomplishments as a black belt
- 4x IBJJF World Champion (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021)
- IBJJF European Open Champion (2017 and 2020)
- AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro (2017)
- IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2016)
- IBJJF Pan Champion (2016)
- 2x IBJJF American Nationals (2015 and 2016)
- AJP Grand Slam, Los Angeles (2016)
Musumeci’s Main accomplishments in colored belts
- IBJJF World Champion (2014 purple, 2015 brown)
- IBJJF Juvenile World Champion (2012 and 2013)
- IBJJF Pan Champion (2014 purple, 2015 brown)
- IBJJF Juvenile Pan Champion (2012 and 2013)
- IBJJF Juvenile World No-Gi Champion (2011)
- IBJJF Juvenile Pan No-Gi Champion (2011)
Michael excels as a juvenile blue belt in BJJ events, winning the World No-Gi Championship and the Pan No-Gi Championship in 2011. Then, in 2012 and 2013, he shone again, winning two IBJJF Juvenile Pan Championships.
In 2013, he was promoted to purple belt after winning his second world jiu-jitsu title, and he continued to excel in competitions.
His training with renowned competitors like Jonatus Gurgel and Gilbert Burns aided his ability to win the IBJJF World Championships and the IBJJF Pan Championship in 2014.
Mikey was promoted to the brown belt after winning the World Championships in 2014 as a purple belt. He has won the IBJJF World Championships and the BJJF Pan Championship in the months since.
Mikey was promoted to black belt after winning the World Championships 2015 as a brown belt.
In the years since, he has won four IBJJF World Championships (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021), one IBJJF World No-Gi Championship (2016), two IBJJF European Open Championships (2017 and 2020), and two IBJJF American Nationals (2015 and 2016).
Mikey Musumeci’s Journey at Who’s Number One
Musumeci made his Who’s Number One debut on March 26, 2021, in the enigmatic year 2021. Musumeci’s first opponent was Marcelo Cohen, whom he eventually submitted with an incredible armbar from the perilous triangle choke position.
Mikey resurfaced at the mysterious WNO arena on May 28, 2021, entangling Lucas Pinheiro with a perplexing heel hook that baffled viewers.
On June 18, 2021, Musumeci met Edwin ‘Junny’ Ocasio in the third chapter of his mystery at WNO. He triumphed in a bizarre turn of events, gaining an inexplicable victory by unanimous decision.
This accomplishment invited him to compete in the enigmatic WNO Championships, a historic event where he sought the Lightweight championship. Gabriel Sousa cleverly ensnared Musumeci in the intricate grips of a north-south choke, thus destroying his triumphant dreams.
Despite this setback, Musumeci persevered, eventually contending for the inaugural WNO Bantamweight championship on October 20, 2021. He submitted Richard Alarcon with a leglock so perplexing that it became known as ‘The Mikey Lock,’ capturing the coveted belt in a show of mind-boggling brilliance.
Musumeci successfully defended his WNO Bantamweight championship against the dangerous Estevan Martinez on an auspicious day, January 21, 2022. The conclusion, cloaked in mystery, was a tremendous triumph by unanimous decision, leaving observers perplexed.
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Musumeci Journey at ONE Championship
Like a tempestuous gust of wind, Musumeci made his debut at the ONE Championship in 2022. Then, he embarked on a spirited vacation to Singapore, where he started his submission grappling training at Evolve MMA.
Under the resplendent banner of ONE Championship, Musumeci found himself entangled in a captivating grappling bout with the illustrious Masakazu Imanari.
This battleground, set ablaze on April 22, 2022, during ONE 156, bore witness to Musumeci’s formidable prowess. In a moment both elusive and enigmatic, Mikey submitted Imanari with a rear-naked choke, coercing him into surrender.
This ethereal victory bestowed upon Musumeci a bountiful reward, a triumphant $50,000 ‘Performance of the Night bonus that swirled like a mystic whirlwind.
Then, Musumeci’s path led him to a momentous encounter with Cleber Sousa, an ardent contender, on the hallowed grounds of the ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship.
Amidst the electrifying aura of October 1, 2022, at ONE on Prime Video 2, the clash between Musumeci and Sousa swayed in the balance. With fierce tenacity and an enigmatic display of skill, Musumeci emerged triumphant. The unanimous decision and the brilliance of claiming the illustrious belt confirmed his victory.
On January 14, 2023, Musumeci prepared to defend his title against Sayan Khertek, a worthy adversary, at ONE on Prime Video 6. But, the fates conspired against Khertek, forcing him to withdraw from the grand stage due to an untimely injury.
In an unexpected fight, Gantumur Bayanduuren emerged from the shadows, embracing the daunting challenge. In a tumultuous clash that ignited the senses, Musumeci’s mastery resounded with thunderous applause, culminating in a unanimous decision.
The stage was set for Musumeci’s second title defense, a clash of titans against the enigmatic Osamah Almarwai, slated for the awe-inspiring spectacle of ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5, 2023. And of course, “Darth Rigatoni” submitted Almarwai by a rear naked choke in a beautiful grappling night defending his title.
Mikey Musumeci’s Journey at the ADCC Championship
The ethereal year of 2022 held great promise for Musumeci as he prepared to embark on an enigmatic odyssey at the prestigious ADCC World Championship.
An invitation had been bestowed upon him, summoning him to this revered event. As the journey unfolded, a prelude known as the ‘Road to ADCC’ materialized on July 17, 2021, unveiling a fateful encounter between Musumeci and Geo Martinez, two enigmatic ADCC 2022 contenders.
In a climactic battle, Musumeci bafflingly triumphed, emerging with a perplexing 6-0 victory etched upon the scoreboard.
But, Musumeci’s path to ADCC 2022 was veiled by a capricious injury that forced him to withdraw from the most prestigious submission grappling event.
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Mikey Musumeci Jr., often known as “Darth Rigatoni,” has established himself as a genuine legend and a brilliant light in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His relentless devotion and enthusiasm for the discipline have catapulted him to remarkable heights, earning him the renowned title of five-time World Jiu-Jitsu champion.
Mikey is distinguished not only by his extraordinary accomplishments but also by his unique path and the hardships he has conquered. He, suffering from despair, discovered consolation and courage in Jiu-Jitsu, which he used as a strong weapon to overcome his inner demons.
Mikey polished his talents and accepted chances to learn from the greatest in the BJJ world from his early days studying under prominent teachers like Fernando “Cabeça,” Guilherme and Rafael Mendes, and Emyr “Shark” Bussade.
His competitive path has been full of breathtaking experiences. He has shown excellent grappling abilities, from victories at the IBJJF World Championships, European Open, and American Nationals to standout performances at Who’s Number One and ONE Championship.
His one-of-a-kind submission, the “Mikey Lock,” has had a long-lasting effect on the leg lock strategy in contests, establishing his prominence and invention in the sport.
Finally, Mikey Musumeci’s path exemplifies the power of enthusiasm, perseverance, and a champion’s indomitable spirit. His tale continues to develop, capturing the hearts and minds of Jiu-Jitsu fans all around the globe.
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