Mikey Musumeci vs. Mahamed Aly

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About a year ago, at 2020 European IBJJF Championship…

Mikey Musumeci and Mahamed Aly fought against each other in the open weight division.

Mikey weighed less than 64kg. Aly was probably over 100kg.

Just try rolling with someone 40kg heavier than you and you will know how difficult it is to deal with someone like that, even if the other person is less skilled than you.

And to make things even worse for Mikey…

Aly is a well-accomplished grappler and one of the best in his weight category, even though he didn’t win in his category this time.

So, even though Mikey is like a jiu-jitsu wizard, you’d think it would be tough for him to do what he wants to do against Aly when there’s this huge weight difference.

But Mikey did extremely well against Aly.

I rewatched a video of this match before writing this email and some things caught my attention.

Strategically, Mikey is always making sure to avoid Aly’s strength by finding an advantageous angle or going around Aly.

I like the part where Mikey goes for omoplata (around 4:20) and then switch to 50/50.

I imagine it would be hard to sweep Aly from a normal de la riva position or any other position. But 50/50 would be one of the best sweep options available to small players… so it makes sense that Mikey chose this particular move. (Attacking the upper body to create an opening to attack the lower body is a strategy Craig Jones uses as well, by the way.)

I suppose Mikey’s plan was to take Aly’s back from 50/50, again by going around Aly rather than directly having to deal with his strength and weight. Also, it looks like Mikey is looking for his signature foot lock from 50/50 as well.

His plan didn’t work out unfortunately, but it’s pretty inspiring to watch someone small like Mikey fighting against a bigger & stronger opponent… and almost beating him under this particular ruleset.

Here’s the video of the match again. What do you notice from the way Mikey fights against Aly?