Reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci is on his way to becoming a well-rounded martial artist.
Just a couple of weeks before his openweight submission grappling showdown with former ONE Lightweight MMA World Champion Shinya Aoki at ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video, the BJJ superstar is expanding his combat sports training beyond the ground game.
When Musumeci makes the walk at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on October 6, he’ll bring newfound confidence to the ring, having dipped his toes into the world of Muay Thai with some of the sport’s most legendary fighters.
Of course, he won’t be throwing any strikes in his matchup with Aoki, but he’s previously indicated his intention to eventually compete in MMA.
And he’s learning to strike from the very best, as “Darth Rigatoni” recently spent time with former eight-time ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Hama at Superbon Training Camp in Bangkok.
Nong-O spoke to onefc.com about Musumeci’s visit – and had nothing but glowing reviews for the five-time IBJJF World Champion:
“Mikey just came to practice with me for only one time so far, but we have already made an appointment for the next class. He is a very nice guy. Everyone in the gym was excited to see him.”
Known for his infectiously friendly personality, Musumeci was immediately accepted among the Thai stand-up fighters.
According to Nong-O, the BJJ wizard’s prodigious ability to develop his martial arts game isn’t limited to ground fighting:
“Seriously, I think Mikey is a fast learner. I feel that he is so enthusiastic and concentrated. Although his Muay Thai weapons may not be that beautiful right now, his determination will allow him to improve much faster. And soon, everyone will see a tougher version of Mikey, for sure.”
Nong-O Lays Out Plan For Musumeci’s Muay Thai Training
While Muay Thai will make Mikey Musumeci a tougher, more well-rounded fighter, he’s still far from perfecting the nuts and bolts of the striking arts.
But Nong-O Hama has a plan for developing “Darth Rigatoni’s” stand-up game. And like any other beginner, he says it starts with the basics:
“As for Muay Thai, now we need to teach him all the basics in the first place, like how to kick, how to punch, how to use Muay Thai weapons, and how to make them accurate and solid at the same time.”
Luckily for Musumeci, he’s learning from the best.
Widely regarded as one of the finest athletes in the history of Muay Thai, Nong-O will be imparting his decades of striking knowledge directly on the BJJ black belt.
“In the next class, I plan to give him in-depth techniques on how to throw each kind of Muay Thai weapon and timing.”