Mikey Musumeci is the most accomplished American competitor in the gi, ever.
After a year in which he competed exclusively in no-gi competition, Musumeci put the gi back on to compete at the 2021 IBJJF Worlds, capturing his fifth IBJJF black belt world title and his fourth in the gi. Below is recap of Musumeci’s run through the roosterweight division.
In the quarterfinals, Musumeci squared off with Carlos “Bebeto” Oliveira. After a quick double guard pull, Oliveira elected to come on top to earn an advantage lead. Musumeci attacked Oliveira’s legs aggressively, constantly looking to create deep entanglements to either secure an ankle lock or berimbolo to the back. About halfway through the match, Musumeci latched onto Oliveira’s ankle to earn a tap from the straight ankle lock.
The semifinals were more of the same, as Musumeci took on Murilo Santana black belt Jonas Andrade. An Abu Dhabi World Pro champion, Andrade is one of the most promising young black belts on the scene. Once again, Musumeci found success with his trademark straight ankle lock, securing the tap from a double pull position in under three minutes.
The finals saw Musumeci face 10-time world champion Bruno Malfacine in a rematch of the 2019 Worlds final in which Musumeci earned a points victory. In a methodical, measured approach, Musumeci was able to shut down Malfacine’s passing early and hit a picture-perfect berimbolo to Malfacine’s back for a dominant 6-0 lead. Malfacine would escape back control, but was otherwise shut down inside Musumeci’s closed guard for the final few minutes of the match.