Mikey Musumeci set to compete in superfight at inaugural CJI

Multiple-time IBJJF world champion and current ONE world champion Mikey Musumeci will compete at CJI.

The inaugural Craig Jones Invitational (CJI) just added another one of the grappling world’s biggest stars, as American standout Mikey Musumeci announced plans to compete in a superfight at the event. No opponent has been announced yet.

A five-time IBJJF world champion (four in the gi, one in no-gi) and the reigning ONE flyweight submission grappling world champion, Musumeci is widely recognized as one of the best-ever American-born BJJ competitors.

The 27-year-old submission hunter boasts an incredible winning streak that dates back to 2021. That stretch includes a title-winning submission win at Who’s Number One, his fourth IBJJF gi world title, and an undefeated seven-match stretch in ONE Championship. In his most recent outing, Musumeci made quick work of Gabriel Sousa, the last man to defeat him.

While that match took place one division up from Musumeci’s typical competition weight, he is slated to move up three divisions this September when he challenges Kade Ruotolo for his ONE lightweight submission grappling world title. Ruotolo, along with his twin brother Tye Ruotolo, is slated to compete at the inaugural CJI in the -80kg division.

An expert guard player, the New Jersey native is revered for his ultra-aggressive, submission-hunting style that seems to work equally well in both gi and no-gi competition. Musumeci possesses one of the world’s best berimbolos – an elite back-taking skill set that he pairs well with his dangerous and ever-evolving leg lock game.

Set to take place on the same weekend and in the same city as the 2024 ADCC World Championships, the inaugural CJI has garnered plenty of attention in recent weeks as a number of grappling’s top stars, including Ffion Davies, Victor Hugo, Mason Fowler, as well as the Ruotolos and Musumeci, have agreed to compete at the charity event.

How to watch: The inaugural CJI takes place on August 16-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will air live and free on YouTube.

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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