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Grappling Report: Mikey Musumeci issues bold challenge to Sambo world champions

A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report

Multiple-time IBJJF world champion Mikey Musumeci won the very first ONE Championship submission grappling title last weekend, defeating Cleber Sousa for the Flyweight belt. While an achievement like this would normally be cause for celebration for most competitors, Musumeci has wasted no time in searching for the perfect opponent to attempt his first title-defence.

Musumeci made a polite request to compete against ONE Championship Flyweight MMA world champion and UFC legend Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson beforehand, and has now issued a public challenge to the Sambo community as well. Musumeci wants to defend his title against the current Sambo world champion in his weightclass, testing himself against a completely different grappling style for the very first time.

John Hansen retains openweight title at Grapplefest 13

After the Daisy Fresh team made the trip to the UK to take on the best that the country has to offer back at Grapplefest 12, several members of the team decided to make another trip for the very next event. Of course, John Hansen had a pretty convincing reason to do so seeing as he won the promotion’s openweight title at GF 12 and had a new challenger to face this time around.

Hansen won a unanimous decision against Arya Esfandmaz and retained his title shortly before the main event saw his teammate, Jacob ‘The Hillbilly Hammer’ Couch competing against Silviu Nastasa. Couch also won a unanimous decision in a night that was pretty full of them, although there was plenty of exciting matches throughout and Adam Ellis stunned the fans with a buggy choke finish earlier on in the night.

Full results for the event can be found here.

Bellator signs Olympic wrestler and PFL Champion Ali Isaev

Ali Isaev has already reached the highest levels of one sport when he attended the 2008 Olympic games to compete in freestyle wrestling and although he couldn’t reach the podium, he quickly bounced back to win a gold medal at the European championships in 2009. Isaev then turned his hand to MMA and made his professional debut in 2016, quickly amassing a 4-0 record competing at Fight Nights Global in Russia.

That attracted the attention of PFL and Isaev competed in their 2019 Heavyweight season, defeating all five of his opponents and coming away with the championship and million-dollar prize. After a few years away from competition Isaev has now signed a contract with Bellator and he will be making his debut for the promotion shortly, looking to increase his perfect undefeated record to double-digits.

Polaris announces Middleweight grand prix with title on the line

Polaris will be returning to the UK for Polaris 22 after the promotion hosted their first event outside of the country’s borders. This event will mark a change of pace for the promotion as they are choosing to do something a little different from the traditional fight card format and their patented Squads events. Polaris 22 will feature a Middleweight grand prix as the main attraction, with the winner being crowned the promotion’s Middleweight champion.

It’s a title that has only ever been held by Craig Jones, who won it all the way back at Polaris 6 and has defended it twice since. With Jones moving up in weight to 99kg at ADCC 2022, he has decided to vacate his Polaris Middleweight title and the promotion will hold a single-night tournament featuring some of the most talented grapplers in that weightclass to determine his replacement at the top of the mountain.

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