Demetrious Johnson responds to Mikey Musumeci’s “respectful request to roll”

Mikey Musumeci had one name in mind shortly after winning the inaugural ONE flyweight submission grappling world title against Cleber Sousa at ONE on Prime Video 2 over the weekend.

Asked by Mitch Chilson post-fight whom he wants to fight next, the unassuming Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard issued a respectful challenge to roll with none other than Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.

Here’s what ‘Darth Rigatoni’ had to say:

“We can make history together, you know. I know me and him [Johnson] can bring the MMA and jiu-jitsu fans together. And it would be just a historic, incredible event. It will be an honor to step on the mats with him. It’s not a callout – it’s just a respectful request to roll.”

Good thing Mikey Musumeci’s unusually polite callout did not fall on deaf ears, as the newly crowned ONE flyweight world champion responded on social media.

The AMC Pankration and Evolve MMA product accepted Musumeci’s challenge, and vowed that their grappling exhibition will happen one way or the other.

He wrote:

“If we don’t grapple in the circle, I’ll come to Vegas and grapple you in the gym.”

‘Mighty Mouse’ is already used to crossover bouts by now. He featured in ONE’s first-ever mixed-rules fight against ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangon at ONE X this past March.

However, if this superfight will ever materialize, it would likely be strictly a submission grappling match. ‘DJ’ could even be the first challenger to Musumeci’s newly won gold strap.

While Johnson is known as one of the most well-rounded martial artists of all time, his grappling credentials are quite impressive as well.

A BJJ brown belt under Matt Hume, the 36-year-old American’s grappling skills are one of the most underrated aspects of his game. Johnson has 12 wins by submission, with the most recent coming via guillotine choke against Tatsumitsu Wada in his ONE debut in 2019. His elite wrestling pedigree should also come in handy.

Then again, Mikey Musumeci is a whole different animal in grappling exclusive matches. His body of work speaks for itself, and he’ll definitely be the favorite if ever this fight becomes a reality.

Chatri Sityodtong wants to see Mikey Musumeci vs. Demetrious Johnson happen

Even before Mikey Musumeci became the promotion’s first-ever submission grappling world champion, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong was already intrigued by his potential matchup with Johnson.

He shared this during the ONE on Prime Video 2 press conference:

“Just look at [Johnson] technically, if you look at his transitions, striking, cage work, his balance, explosiveness, his fight IQ… he’s the greatest. I would love to see Mikey and DJ go at it because Mikey’s IQ is off the charts when it comes to grappling. I would say pound-for-pound, he is the single greatest grappler on the planet today.”

If the boss wants it, there’s certainly no reason not to do it. A Musumeci versus Johnson grappling duel will no doubt bring in a bigger audience for the submission grappling scene.

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