After decision win in ONE debut, Tammi Musumeci targets Danielle Kelly and champ-champ status

After defeating Bianca Basilio at ONE Fight Night 8, Tammi Musumeci is open to a rematch with Danielle Kelly.

On Saturday, at ONE Fight Night 8: Superlek vs. Williams, five-time IBJJF world champion Tammi Musumeci made her ONE Championship debut and picked up a decision win over Bianca Basilio in their 10-minute, submission-only showdown.

Watch the replay of that match here.

Throughout the match, Musumeci looked to attack from her back but was repeatedly warned for pulling guard – a new wrinkle in ONE’s submission grappling ruleset. 

Moreover, the American failed to establish a dominant position and struggled to achieve a meaningful submission attempt, leading some, including the ONE commentators, to believe that Basilio would be awarded the decision.

But looking closer at the match, Musumeci was the aggressor more often than not; she was the grappler willing to take more risks in pursuit of the finish. 

In an interview with ONE Championship after the match, Musumeci explained her disappointment in not achieving a submission:

“She kept disengaging, which made the fight harder for me and probably worse for the fans because if we had stayed in, one of us could have gotten to a position, or one of us could have gotten to a submission. So I think that was the disappointment there. But I mean, from my standpoint, I feel like I was able to get to some of my position, but then she kicked out or pushed me away. I tried my best… I feel if I get another opportunity with this, whenever I get it, I will definitely, especially if I fight someone who doesn’t run away, I’ll definitely get the sub.”

Frustrated as she might be with the lack of a submission finish and Basilio’s failure to engage on the ground, Musumeci is ultimately pleased to have defeated such an accomplished and dangerous opponent.

And after tasting the bright lights of ONE’s Circle, she’s ready to return to action and showcase the full breadth of her world-class jiu-jitsu:

“I mean it’s one of those situations again where I did the best with the situation. But it also makes me feel pretty good because she is the best girl at 125. So hopefully, now, any matches I’ll have, that was the top. Now I’m very excited again to fight people with different styles because then I’ll be able to showcase my jiu-jitsu more.”

Tammi Musumeci wants two belts, rematch with Danielle Kelly

Now 1-0 in ONE Championship’s rapidly expanding submission grappling division, Tammi Musumeci is naturally looking ahead to potential future opponents and opportunities.

Her brother, Mikey Musumeci, currently holds the men’s ONE flyweight submission grappling world title. She hopes to not only follow in his footsteps but also one-up him and capture ONE world titles in two different weight classes:

“My goal is to get the 125 and the 115 [belts]. It means so much to me… I’m very thankful to be a part of this. Just to fight in this, I’m very thankful. It’s just the highest level. Even meeting the athletes. They’re all super cool. And it’s just a cool group of people. So I’m very thankful to be here. But my goal eventually is to do the 115 and 125 belts.”

With both the atomweight and strawweight submission grappling titles currently up for grabs, Musumeci could have her shot at gold sooner rather than later.

In ONE’s atomweight division (115 pounds), Musumeci will find Danielle Kelly, who is undefeated across three submission grappling bouts in the organization. The two black belts have met once before, in 2021 at the Who’s Number One championships, where Musumeci tapped Kelly with an armbar. 

While her match against Bianca Basilio took place at 125 pounds, Musumeci says she could easily drop down in weight to face Kelly in a rematch:

“I mean, I fought Danielle Kelly before, like, a year ago. I heard she wants to fight me. I mean, I’d be down for that. I could definitely make 115. I’ve made 115 in jiu-jitsu, and that’s where you literally weigh in, and then you fight right after. I like 125 a lot more because I like having muscles. I like eating a lot of pizza and getting to eat ice cream up until a week before. But for 115, I mean, I can definitely make that weight. It won’t be as fun as the 125 but at my height, I’m definitely probably built more for 115.”

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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