‘My plan is to submit from the back’ – Bianca Basilio targets quick finish of Tammi Musumeci

Bianca Basilio broke down her upcoming submission grappling match against Tammi Musumeci at ONE Fight Night 8.

On Friday, March 24, ADCC and IBJJF world champion Bianca Basilio will return to action for her second appearance in ONE Championship when she takes on promotional newcomer Tammi Musumeci. Set for the lead card of ONE Fight Night 8: Superlek vs. Rodtang, the 10-minute, submission-only affair is arguably the best submission grappling match-up ONE has put together so far.

Basilio made her ONE debut last November at ONE 163 when she quickly submitted Milena Sakumoto, earning her a $50,000 performance bonus.

For the 27-year-old Brazilian, that was life-changing money. Because despite her accomplished career at the highest levels of grappling and jiu-jitsu, she, like other elite competitors, has often struggled to make ends meet. The money she’s earning in ONE, she says, has set her on a new path.

“Grappling has been growing more and more and I, as an athlete, was very happy to know that the ONE Championship opened doors for us to show what our art is capable of,” she said in an interview with ONE Championship. “We know that many athletes give up their fighting career halfway through, not willingly, but because they don’t have the financial conditions to pay for the basic needs that an athlete needs.”

Bianca Basilio breaks down match-up with Tammi Musumeci

Basilio is now just days away from another bonus-winning opportunity. But while her first opponent in ONE was a relatively unknown black belt, Musumeci is a five-time IBJJF world champion and the most accomplished American-born female jiu-jitsu competitor ever.

The New Jersey native won her first black belt world title in 2013, at a time when Basilio was competing as a juvenile blue belt. The Brazilian is quick to give her opponent credit for her elite-level experience.

“Tammi Musumeci is an experienced athlete,” Basilio said. “She has already faced very good opponents. She has been fighting for many years and I believe that the more experienced a person is, the more aces up one’s sleeve they have to use in any situation. So I think that experience that she has is what makes her dangerous.”

A lifelong competitor, Basilio is no stranger to Musumeci’s game, having watched her succeed as a black belt for years.

Ahead of their showdown on March 24, Basilio broke down what Musumeci brings to the table:

“I’ve seen Tammi Musumeci fight for a long time. I watched some of her fights at Worlds and Pan Americans even before I became a black belt. Since I was a purple belt, I’ve watched the black belts in my category, because I knew that one day I would reach them. And this has been happening. 

“I’ve never fought Tammi, but I know she plays well from the bottom, has good attacks to the right side, scrambles and likes to attack the neck. No wonder she’s a world champion. Tammi is a very technical fighter, usually likes to play guard. She doesn’t expose herself much, she waits for the fight to happen to gain her positions. She doesn’t trade many takedowns. I think we’re going to have a great fight. 

“I’m a complete fighter, I feel good looking for takedowns, doing guard or passing guard. Ten minutes without points is very good for the fight to unfold, as I think the athletes can expose themselves and move more between positions without worrying because the focus is on submissions.”

Ultimately, Basilio believes her well-rounded skillset will stymie Musumeci’s complex, guard-centric game, and predicts a finish before the halfway mark of their match.

“My plan is to submit from the back, before the first 5 minutes of the fight,” she said.

How to watch: Tammi Musumeci vs. Bianca Basilio takes place on Friday, March 24 on the lead card of ONE Fight Night 8: Superlek vs. Rodtang, and will air live in the U.S. on ONE’s YouTube channel. The main card will air on Prime Video (free with Amazon Prime subscription).

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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