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Mikey Musumeci Details Challenges Posed by Gabriel Sousa’s Body Type



Mikey Musumeci deems Joao Gabriel Sousa’s body type as the biggest challenge, apart from the Brazilian’s strength.

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Musumeci will look to correct a 2021 loss when he takes on Sousa in a 145-pound rematch at ONE 167 in Bangkok on June 7. Musumeci hasn’t lost a bout since suffering a submission loss against Sousa in their first encounter. Reflecting on that loss, Musumeci admits that Sousa was evidently stronger than him.

Planning to leave no stone unturned to exact revenge, Musumeci has been working on his strength with Sam “Coach Cal” Calvitta at the Treigning Lab. Apart from the strength, Musumeci sees Sousa’s body type as the biggest challenge. According to “Darth Rigatoni,” comparatively short-limbed fighters like Sousa have an advantage in no-gi jiu-jitsu as they are hard to grab ahold of.

“Gabriel has very small limbs. He has no arms, no legs. Which in no-gi, it helps people built like that; like dinosaurs kind of. In the gi, they have a very hard time, this body type, because of grips on the sleeves and the legs. So, they're really easy to control, like, omoplata them, take their back,” Musumeci explained, “But in no-gi, this body type doesn't need as many things. They just have no limbs, so they could just keep moving every second. And if they have a lot of power, they could just explode and use that to their advantage. So, he has the ideal body type for no-gi, I feel.”

Working on controlling opponents with shorter limbs was Musumeci’s prime focus in preparing for his upcoming bout. With the goal of improving his jiu-jitsu as much as possible, Musumeci has been treating the matchup like a science experiment.

“He's like a missile. He’s so small and explosive. He doesn't come in, then he just comes in one motion. Boom, boom!” said Musumeci. “So, he's very physical, very aggressive and, definitely, his body type plays a role in that because he's hard to control. So for me, it was a learning curve how to control someone with that tiny body type, with those arms and legs very small. It's completely different than long, monkey people in no-gi. So, I feel like that was my learning curve for this match.

“I obsessed about how to control someone with tiny legs, tiny arms. It's a whole different style of jiu-jitsu. So, I really treated Gabriel as like a science experiment, like a lab experiment, you know, and I did a lot of work for this match. So, and just in jiu-jitsu in general, you know, like, I just see it as me trying to perfect my jiu-jitsu. My goal in jiu-jitsu is mastery. So, I had to master how to deal with both these body types.”
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