After defeating Japanese MMA legend Masakazu Imanari in his ONE Championship debut this past April, submission grappling sensation Mikey "Darth Rigatoni" Musumeci has his eyes on an all-time MMA GOAT.
At ONE on Prime Video 2, Musumeci will take on fellow top black belt Cleber Sousa for the inaugural ONE flyweight submission grappling world title.
While he is certainly focused on Sousa and his chance at making history, the Italian-American recently discussed a potential submission grappling match against reigning ONE flyweight world champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson.
At ONE X this past March, Johnson defeated ONE flyweight muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a special rules superfight featuring alternating rounds of muay Thai and MMA. And if "Mighty Mouse" was willing to test himself against a world-class striker in a fight that includes stand-up rules, then he's surely open to grappling against an elite Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist.
Musumeci recently explained why he'd like to tango with Johnson.
"'Mighty Mouse' is such a martial artist, a true legend," he said. "He challenged himself in muay Thai, he keeps challenging himself in different ways. He's the GOAT of MMA, and it would be an honor to have a match with him. That'd be a dream match for me."
Recognizing that Johnson's expertise is in MMA and not grappling, "Darth Rigatoni" proposes a special kind of battle that would make the dream fight more evenly matched for both participants.
After all, he thinks such a fight could be absolutely massive and rock the foundations of submission grappling.
"I honestly think me and 'Mighty Mouse' would be the biggest match in jiu-jitsu history, if we did that," he said.
"We will make a special rules match, for sure. Like, obviously, because he's a brown belt now, maybe we can make it to where there are no leg locks allowed."
More than anything, Musumeci views himself as a representative of his martial art. Ultimately, a grappling match against Johnson would only help the Brazilian jiu-jitsu sensation in his overarching goal – to attract a global fan base to sport jiu-jitsu.
"I think that match would just be such a huge thing for jiu-jitsu because we would have the MMA audience and jiu-jitsu audience together," the Italian-American said.
"All of us watching this match, I feel like that would bring a lot of new faces to watching jiu-jitsu."
But first, Musumeci looks to make history and claim the inaugural ONE flyweight submission grappling world title at ONE on Prime Video 2.