Reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey Musumeci has only started to dip his toes into the world of Muay Thai, but he’s already seeing plenty of benefits.
Fresh off his bonus-winning submission of Shinya Aoki at ONE Fight Night 15, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu superstar has recently been spotted learning “the art of eight limbs” from some of Thailand’s finest strikers, including former eight-time ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Hama.
While “Darth Rigatoni” was certainly happy and grateful to bump shoulders with Muay Thai royalty, he was even more thrilled to train alongside the younger rising stars at the famed PK Saenchai camp.
He told onefc.com:
“My favorite thing when I was living in Thailand the past two months was hanging out at PK Saenchai because it was all up-and-coming, young, hungry fighters, and they were all at the gym grinding together.
“So whenever I was there, I would feel their energy of that grinding, tough feeling.”
Widely regarded as the most accomplished American-born BJJ competitor in history and now the face of submission grappling in ONE Championship, Musumeci has little left to achieve in the ground game.
But the 27-year-old has found a renewed sense of motivation with Muay Thai, as he is inspired by the culture of hard work and brotherhood in the striking art.
And even though he won’t be throwing any punches or kicks the next time he competes – although perhaps one day in the future – he is bringing the Muay Thai mindset into grappling sessions:
“While you’re dying and suffering [in Muay Thai training], everyone else is too, so it builds that camaraderie. You’re dying, but it’s a vibe of everyone dying together, so it’s not as hard, and you feel hungry. Everyone is showing up every day to train, so why are you not? You should be there also, so it makes you motivated.
“I love the energy of the Muay Thai people, and I try to have that energy with jiu-jitsu.”
Musumeci Says Muay Thai Is ‘Secret’ To Improved Conditioning
More than just extra motivation, Mikey Musumeci plans to use Muay Thai training to boost his overall fitness level.
The New Jersey native is already renowned for his epic, hours-long BJJ training sessions, but he says Muay Thai pushes his body in entirely new ways:
“Muay Thai is the best for conditioning. So that’s my next secret that I’m gonna use for my conditioning for jiu-jitsu. You do Muay Thai, and then jiu-jitsu feels like the easiest thing ever.”
A true master of BJJ technique, Musumeci with improved physical conditioning is a scary proposition for any contenders to his flyweight submission grappling throne.
And according to “Darth Rigatoni,” it’s the full-force, full-effort mindset found in Muay Thai that will take his endurance to the next level.
“Dude, you die. It’s like pure power and sprints. Every punch and kick is 100 percent power. So then you do jiu-jitsu training and you’re laughing. There’s nothing harder than that on your body.”