It was a bit of a shock to everyone when Mikey Musumeci announced that he was entering the Openweight division at this year’s IBJJF European Championships. Despite being the smallest entrant by at least forty pounds, the former Roosterweight IBJJF World Champion had a fantastic start when he came up against Medium-Heavyweight, Jacopo Pasquini. He pulled of a beautiful Berimbol and took the larger mans back before sinking in a picture-perfect choke, classic Mikey Musumeci really.
The second round saw Musumeci take on Seif Eddine-Houmine with the biggest weight disadvantage he could possibly face as Eddine-Houmine always competes at Ultra-Heavyweight. The match was very difficult for Musumeci but he showed brilliant guard retention to prevent having any points scored on him by the bigger man. The match ended 0-0 but with Eddine-Houmine being penalised towards the start, Musumeci advanced to the Quarter-finals.
All he had to do was win one more match and he would equal Lachlan Giles’ amazing ADCC performance in the Openweight division last year. He came up against one of the best Heavyweight grapplers around right now, Mahamed Aly. The match was back and forth action with Musumeci putting on an amazing display of technical ability, matching Aly in every department and really minimizing the impact of the size difference.
Despite finishing the match with 2 points each, Aly won on advantages 2-1 in razor-close match. Aly then went on to face Keenan Cornelius in the Semi-Final, losing 10-2 and ending with the bronze medal. We were literally inches away from seeing Keenan Cornelius v Mikey Musumeci for a place in the final and what a match that could have been.
Brackets for every age and belt category for the IBJJF European Championships 2020 can be found on the IBJJF website here.
This article is part of our coverage of the IBJJF European Championships 2020, click here for the latest news.