Start Your Day With Mikey Musumeci’s Top 5 Submissions

Mikey Musumeci‘s recent submission victory against MMA legend Masakazu Imanari turned many heads in the martial arts community. ONE Championship is now home to many world-class grappling stars. We can expect more of the same in the upcoming fight cards, that’s for sure. 

Mikey is not a neophyte when it comes to winning. He has won various high-profile grappling events such as the AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro and Grand Slam, IBJJF Pan, European, and multiple World Championships in gi and no-gi. Even now, at such a young age, he is considered one of the most outstanding male BJJ black belts to ever represent the USA. 

Mikey also holds the fastest submission in IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) history. He submitted his opponent in 14 seconds in his black belt finals match at the 2019 IBJJF World Championships. 

Now that you know who Mikey Musumeci is, let’s talk about his top 5 submissions.


Mikey Musumeci’s Top 5 Submissions


1) Mikey Lock

The Mikey Lock is a leg attack that targets two parts of the leg: the foot and knee. According to Mikey, it is the strongest possible leg lock, as a fully locked-in Mikey lock is almost impossible to escape from. 

Instead of using the arm and placing the foot below the armpit (typical heel hook finish), the Mikey Lock puts the opponent’s foot beside your neck. You use the foot on the neck as a fulcrum while the lower palm pushes the heel bone to apply tremendous pressure on the foot and knee.

When applying the Mikey Lock, you place your palm below the opponent’s heel bone as you push, while the other arm wraps around to reach the shoulder. 

Alternatively, you can reach for the foot to add more pressure. In most cases, plantar flexing (straightening your foot and toes like a ballerina) can result in an easier heel slip when working with heel hooks, but in the Mikey Lock, plantar flexion will cause the opponent to break their foot first, and the knee second.

The leg configuration used in the Mikey Lock could be an inside sankaku or basic ashi garami (SLX). Mikey prefers using the single leg X as it is easier to get. A big fulcrum is needed to force a break. 

The Mikey lock configuration makes it easy to apply immense pressure instantly. The opponent’s big toe acts as the end of the lever. While your head pushes the foot down, more pressure is placed on the leg. This means that if ever you plan on using the Mikey Lock, be mindful of your application to minimize potential injuries. 


2) Straight Ankle Lock

The straight ankle lock is the submission Mikey used in his record-setting submission at the 2019 IBJJF World Championship. It is the most basic type of leg lock and likely the first leg lock a BJJ student will learn. Although the straight ankle lock is easy to apply, it has the potential to end matches quickly.

As shown by Mikey, start by applying a de la Riva hook. The de la Riva hook is an essential step because you will use it to transition to the straight ankle lock as you fall to the side. 

When the opponent shifts their hip to defend, putting all their weight on the glutes, it is the time to fall back and pull. Use your elbow to push the opponent’s ankle in a downward motion and arch your back, bringing your shoulders down to the mat while pushing their knee with your opposite arm as you move your head back.


3) Back Triangle

The back triangle is one of Mikey’s favorite submissions in no-gi. He typically applies it by first securing the back mount with a seatbelt grip and then transitioning to a kimura grip to control the opponent’s near hand. 

He puts his knee behind the opponent’s shoulder as his bottom leg comes across the neck while trapping the arm. Mikey then throws his top leg over the bottom leg to lock the triangle. You can finish with the triangle choke submission. You can also transition to the armbar as an alternative. 


4) Rear Naked Choke

The rear naked choke is the submission Mikey used against Japanese star Masakazu Imanari. Known as the “King of Chokes”, it is the most effective choke in grappling because it is applied from the most dominant position – the back mount.

As demonstrated by Teco Shinzato from the EVOLVE Fight Team, start by first securing the position with a seatbelt grip. Slide your top arm (choking arm) under the opponent’s neck to lift their chin and grab their shoulder. 

Use your other arm to control the opponent’s arm to prevent them from stripping your choke attempt. Press your head near theirs and let go of your other arm (bottom arm). Use your choking arm to grab near your bicep and place it behind the opponent’s head as you squeeze for the finish.


5) Inside Heel Hook

The inside heel hook is arguably the most dangerous submission you can do. It is one of those submissions that can cause quick taps if not respected. This is an excellent weapon once you understand the underlying mechanics of the technique.

Mikey applies the inside heel hook from the inside sankaku position. Instead of using the usual reverse butterfly grip to finish, he uses the reverse figure four to put pressure on the knee while applying pressure to the lower shin.


A Future Hall Of Famer

Mikey is without a doubt the present and future of our beloved sport. His accomplishments at such a young age put him in a league that most competitive grapplers may never reach. His technique, demeanor, and attitude towards Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will surely inspire those who strive to improve their lives using martial arts.


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