Mikey Musumeci
Mikey Musumeci is considered one of the best pound-for-pound grapplers in the world today, and he is currently signed with ONE Championship. ONE Championship


  • Mikey Musumeci was one of the key attractions in ONE Championship's U.S. debut
  • He defeated Osamah Almarwai by way of submission at ONE Fight Night 10
  • "I think ONE Championship is the future," Musumeci says.

May 5, 2023 will forever be remembered as the date when ONE Championship held its first live event in the United States.

It was 12 years in the making for the Singapore-based promotion, and the card—officially numbered ONE Fight Night 10—surely did live up to the hype as it produced seven highlight-reel finishes across 11 action-packed bouts.

One of the luminaries who plied his trade that evening at the sold-out 1stBank Center in Denver, Colorado was Italian-American grappling superstar Mike Musumeci, who took on Yemen's Osamah Almarwai.

"Darth Rigatoni" was in full control from the opening bell as he relentlessly attacked his foe with a chain of heel hook attempts before moving to Almarwai's back and then fastening the match-ending rear-naked choke with slightly under three minutes remaining.

Musumeci revealed that staying on the offensive was the main objective against a tactically-sound opponent such as Almarwai.

"Yeah, like every second I'm in a match, I'm attacking a submission to finish the match. There's not one second in this match I wasn't attacking to finish. So I just kept attacking, attacking, attacking," he told reporters during the post-ONE Fight Night 10 press conference.

"Kind of like striking where you're looking for the knockout punch, I'm just attacking finishes every second, and then I finally got the finish in the end."

The 26-year-old Marlboro, New Jersey native was glad that he could treat the fans in attendance to a dominant grappling performance.

"It was definitely good feedback; I felt the energy from the crowd. Being here in America was amazing, and it definitely was exciting to see in a submission grappling match," Musmeci said.

"That's the first thing I asked him (ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong) when he came to the cage, 'Was it exciting, was it fine?' I was so nervous because submission grappling can be boring for viewership if they don't know what it is," he later added.

"So I really wanted to make sure that the fans could appreciate and enjoy it just like the other martial arts on the ONE card."

For a homecoming match, it was the best Musumeci could hope for.

"It's amazing you know. I grew up competing in the U.S., born and raised in the U.S. So competing back home and bringing ONE Championship to the U.S., it was such a very special night for me," he stated.

Moreover, Musumeci expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to be part of a monumental occasion in combat sports history.

"I hope everyone enjoyed the show. We all put our butts down and we worked hard for this card," he mentioned.

Witnessing first-hand how the groundbreaking extravaganza was well received by the American audience, he truly believes that more can be expected from ONE Championship moving forward.

"I think what's so special about ONE is bringing the whole world together. It isn't just the U.S., it's the whole world. I feel like ONE is connecting the whole world, and you can feel that when you're watching," Musumeci remarked.

"I think that ONE Championship is the future and the current, and I think that American fans are going to love this and they're going to appreciate the martial arts all across the disciplines."

Mikey Musumeci
Mikey Musumeci wasted little time in attacking with submissions early in his highly-anticipated showdown against Osamah Almarwai at ONE Fight Night 10. ONE Championship