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Mikey Musumeci Defies Mother's Wishes to Achieve Grappling Greatness

Mikey Musumeci's mother had other plans for her son
Mikey Musumeci

Mikey Musumeci’s journey to becoming one of the top grapplers today has been anything but ordinary. Despite his success on the mats, the reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion has had to fight tooth and nail every step of the way to reach his current status.

Musumeci’s foray into BJJ commenced at the tender age of 4, a time when most children were just learning to tie their shoelaces. But instead of playgrounds and cartoons, his world revolved around training and competing. Displaying an innate talent for the sport, he quickly emerged as a prodigy.

Yet, amid the applause and accolades, there was a voice of hesitation—his mother’s.

“My mom didn’t even want me to compete. I was like 13, 12 years old. She’s like, ‘Please, no more competing.’ She hated it, she was horrified of me competing,” Musumeci said.

Like many BJJ parents, his mother found it agonizing to watch her son engage in the physical rigors of competition. However, fate had other plans. With each victory, Musumeci’s passion for BJJ only grew stronger, fueling his desire to excel.

“She’s like, ‘Alright, just win one more tournament and then no more competing, please.’ I was gonna be competing at NAGA at this time, and I’m like, ‘Mom, I want another belt.’ I won another belt, so I fought again and then I’d win a belt,” he said. “And then I’m like, ‘Wait, wait, one more tournament, please!’ And then I ended up just keeping competing.”

Perhaps paradoxically, Musumeci credits his mother’s initial reluctance to solidify his dedication to the sport. 

“My parents never pushed me to compete or train. My mom just wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer, honestly,” he said.

Musumeci’s relentless drive has paid off, as he now stands as a symbol of excellence in the world of submission grappling. His journey, marked by parental concern and personal perseverance, highlights the complex path to finding and pursuing one's true calling.


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