Tammi Musumeci Claims Unanimous Decision Victory Over Bianca Basilio at ONE Championship Debut

Tammi Musumeci, older sister to fellow ONE Championship grappling ace Mikey Musumeci, claimed a major feather for her cap this Friday night with an unanimous decision victory over 2019 ADCC champion Bianca Basilio. Tammi’s highly anticipated submission grappling superfight against the one-time ADCC queen marks the elder Musumeci’s debut in the ONE Circle.

Tammi Musumeci, in a style reminiscent of her younger brother’s well-known penchant for a dangerous guard game, opened the action with an attempt to sit guard. However, she was swiftly stood up by the referee, who enforced ONE’s new anti-guard sitting rules. For reference, new ONE submission grappling rules allow for guardwork, but only off what the referee deems a “legitimate” grip; this forces athletes to pull from inside the pocket into an attacking position from bottom, rather than butt-scooting.

Basilio, a true ADCC veteran, took that opportunity to look for a takedown. However, Tammi remained unfazed, finding her way to the required grip, and pulling to an open guard. The position forced Basilio to engage on Tammi’s terms, looking for a way past the elder Musumeci’s legs. Immediately, Tammi zeroed in one of the former ADCC champ’s knees, hunting a heel hook. Though Basilio successfully freed her knee line, Tammi remained relentless, continuing to force her opponent into dangerous leg entanglements, one right after the other.

When the two appeared to stall out briefly, the ref returned both athletes to their feet. Now wise to Tammi’s guard game, Basilio focused on much more purposeful hand-fighting, shaking Tammi off every time she attempted to grip for a guard pull. When a final pull attempt earned Tammi a warning from the ref, the elder Musumeci changed up her engagement strategy, electing to jump to a closed guard against the fence.

Though Basilio initially attempted to stand and smother Tammi against the cage, it wasn’t long before Tammi got what she wanted: a favorable guard position on the ground, with Basilio once more forced to pass from the outside. Tammi resumed her search for a leg lock, seemingly unbothered by Basilio’s aggressive knee cut attempts.

The ref once again returned both athletes to their feet just past the five-minute mark. This time, Basilio looked a bit more aggressive while standing, even jumping for what appeared to be a flying guillotine attempt at one point. When Tammi attempted another guard pull, the ref delivered yet another warning, sternly telling her not to look for another pull, and urging her to “attack” instead.

A visibly frustrated Tammi, looking less than pleased with the ref’s call, waded into another hand-fighting battle with Basilio, which allowed her to jump guard once more. Basilio, however, looked more hesitant than ever to engage in Tammi’s guard — likely concerned about the elder Musumeci’s leg-locking prowess from bottom. This time, instead of knee cutting, the ADCC vet attempted a cartwheel pass, but to no avail.

Yet another reset to the feet did little to change up the dynamic between the two, with Tammi still determined to go after Basilio’s legs from the bottom, and Basilio still intent on a favorable top position. In the waning minutes of the match, Basilio went after a heel hook of her own. Tammi, however, defended, and continued to hunt for her own submissions until time, at last, was called.

Though neither athlete ultimately tapped the other out — and no official catches were called — the judges’ decision went in favor of Tammi Musumeci, who was deemed the more stalwart aggressor of the two.

While the Tammi remains free from the shackles of social media, younger brother Mikey — who had cornered his sister for her debut — excitedly took to Instagram after Tammi’s victory.

“So freaking proud of her,” wrote Mikey. “She wakes up 4:30 am everyday to do cardio before working as a lawyer, does stairs in the middle of the day at her job, and then trains at night immediately after work! No one works harder than my sister. She inspires me so much. Can’t wait for us to be on the same card together.”

Relive all the action on the ONE Championship YouTube stream.


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