MMA Legend Shinya Aoki Takes on Mikey Musumeci in Open Weight Submission Grappling Match

Though Mikey Musumeci has previously told us that his days of slaying giants, IBJJF absolute division style, are behind him for the moment, the legendary Shinya Aoki has tempted the champ back up through the weight classes for a special open weight submission grappling match on October 6 at ONE Fight Night 15. Granted, Aoki’s not exactly a huge guy himself — the former king of the ONE lightweight division typically competes in the 75 kg division (that’s approximately 165 pounds, for US readers) — but it’s still a weight class that sits roughly 30 pounds above Darth Rigatoni, who competes at 135.

Aoki previously lost a judges’ decision in submission grappling to then-debutant Kade Ruotolo in May 2022. However, it’s worth noting that the MMA veteran survived multiple submission attempts from the athlete who would go on to become history’s youngest ADCC champion — and that Ruotolo is notably bigger than Musumeci.

That said, Darth Rigatoni currently remains undefeated among ONE’s submission grappling flyweights, and prior to his tenure on the promotion, was one of the jiu-jitsu world’s most highly-decorated black belt champions. It makes him a heavy favorite entering this matchup, and fans will no doubt be watching with curious eyes to see how his performance against Aoki compares to Kade’s debut. If Musumeci manages to submit the former lightweight champ, it’ll arguably be one of his most impressive accomplishments in the ONE Circle to date.


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