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Mikey Musumeci Now Faces Late Replacement Gantumur Bayanduuren

LockerRoom Team
05 January 2023

As the ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion, Mikey Musumeci knows he must remain ready for all challengers, no matter how short of a notice he gets.

When ONE Championship get its 2023 underway with ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov on Saturday, 14 January, “Darth Rigatoni” returns to make the first defense of his submission grappling crown against late replacement Gantumur Bayanduuren at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

Musumeci was originally slated to face sambo expert Sayan Khertek on that day, but when the Russian was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury, the American standout kept his challenge open to any and all elite sambo fighters around the world.

Enter Bayanduuren. 

Much like Khertek before him, the Mongolian makes his ONE debut with a litany of accolades, most notably winning gold at the 2022 Sambo World Championships. 

Bayanduuren also holds a 3-1 slate in mixed martial arts competition, with two knockout victories to his name, and boasts a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

His talents meet the criteria that Musumeci has been asking for, and the champion’s confidence will remain high against his latest challenger.

ALSO READ | Mikey Musumeci believes ONE Championship will change the sport of grappling

The New Jersey athlete has been untouchable inside the ONE Circle so far, having first submitted grappling legend Masakazu Imanari in his promotional debut last April at ONE 156.

Musumeci’s most recent showing earned him the inaugural ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship at ONE on Prime Video 2 last October, battling nemesis Cleber Sousa to a unanimous decision victory in a hotly contested trilogy bout.

No matter who awaits the 26-year-old dynamo, Musumeci’s 2022 will serve him a boatload of confidence and momentum as the new year begins. 

Meanwhile, Bayanduuren’s dangerous and versatile skill set provides the Mongolian star a pivotal opportunity to earn his biggest championship yet and possibly rearrange the flyweight submission grappling division’s landscape for the year ahead.


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