Osamah Almarwai: ‘It’s a Lot of Pressure Being the 1st Middle Eastern IBJJF Black Belt World Champion’

26-year-old Mikey Musumeci will defend his 26-pound One Championship gold belt in a co-main event grappling superfight clash against Osamah Almarwai at the sold-out 1stBank Center in Colorado this Friday, May 5, at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video.

Osama is the 2022 IBJJF No Gi world champion. He is a Saudi-born Yemeni citizen who works full time as an engineer and trains at the possibly the highest level academy in the world: Atos San Diego.

In a recent interview with One Championship, Osama spoke about various topics leading up to his grappling superfight with Musumeci:

You’re the first IBJJF Black Belt World Champion from the Middle East. How does it feel
to represent the MENA region in jiu-jitsu?

It’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders because I’m kind of the only high-level black belt who is
representing the Middle East at the highest level. But I’m also super proud of it. It motivates me
every day, especially when I see messages. Some people message me and show me their kids
doing jiu-jitsu, and they’re like, ‘Hey, my kid is doing jiu-jitsu.’ ‘I’m from Yemen.’ ‘I’m from
Saudi.’ ‘I’m from the UAE.’ And it’s very, very motivating and inspiring. I didn’t know I was
inspiring other people because I just trained and competed. I really like that I have a lot of
support back home. And when this fight was announced, man! People were just going crazy in
the Middle East, just messaging me and tagging me in their photos. It’s really exciting. It
motivates me every single day, to train and compete.

What’s it like training at Atos with Andra Galvao?

Man, it’s very fun. Everybody has a good vibe. But at the same time, it’s very hard training. I
remember when I won in 2019, my ADCC camp, I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ They were just going
hard. I know that’s what I needed to win. Our [gym] is really interesting. I’ll sometimes look
around the room, and you see World Champions everywhere. A lot of them are in black belt. It’s
super hard to make one black belt World Champion, but Galvao was able to make so many
black belt World Champions. So, I know that Galvao had the recipe to make World Champions;
all I had to do was just show up and train. When I look around the room, we have World
Champions in every colored belt. And as a black belt, we have a lot of World Champions.
Galvao puts a lot of heart into this. What I notice something different about Atos is that Galvao is
there every single day, which I think that’s the reason for Atos’ success. He is there every single
day running two competition classes, one at 7 a.m. and the other one at 10:45 a.m. And he
comes again at night, and he teaches us. He’s always there. I think that’s what motivates the
competitors because if your instructor’s there, then you have no excuse not to show up. So yes,
it’s fun. It’s hard training. It’s fun. We support each other. We always exchange knowledge. And I
love it there, man. I love it.

Do you train with Kade and Tye Ruotolo regularly?

Yeah, every single day. Every single day, they help me. They’re very outgoing. They’re super
nice kids. I love training with them. They helped me so much. Even when they were blue belts. I
remember when they joined Atos. They were blue belts. I was like, ‘Man, these kids are good.’
They made me feel bad because I was a brown belt at the time. And man, they were very good.
And then I remember Tye was doing so well in the ADCC.
Yeah, they’ve been doing it since they were, I think, three years old. The knowledge they have
in jiu-jitsu is like … you ask them about any position, they’ll just give you so much knowledge.
It’s amazing. It’s amazing to be around them because they help everyone.

What is your first impression of Mikey Musumeci, who you will challenge for the ONE
Flyweight Submission Grappling World Title?

I know he always hunts for submissions. I like his game. He’s always hunting for submissions.
He’s a leg locker, for sure. We saw it in the last match. It will be interesting. I’m very excited to
see how his style matches [up with] my style. Because, of course, both of us are training. You
know, we’re studying each other. I know he’s studying me. And I’m studying him, of course. But
he’s really fun to watch.
I’ve been watching him for a while now. He was a black belt for a long time. And I used to watch
him competing at the World Championships, No-Gi Worlds, Gi Worlds, winning. And it’s really an
honor to compete against him. This is a very big opportunity to showcase my skills. I’ve been
training for over 11 years now. And I’m very, very, very excited, especially since it’s the first
event in the U.S. So, we’re going to put on a show.

Mikey called you out after his last fight. What did you think about that?

I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ I was excited. But it makes sense because I am the number one
black belt in the world in his division and I’m the current [IBJJF No-Gi] World Champion, so I
think that match, me and him, makes sense the most.

How do you think your match with Mikey will play out? What’s your prediction?

Most likely, it’s going to be me trying to pass and him chasing my legs. He’s going to be chasing
my legs. And I’m going to be just passing. I know he’s going to try to capitalize on my passing, to
entangle my legs. So yeah, I’m probably chasing the back chokes here and there if I can find
any opportunities for submissions. But I also have to be wary of doing entanglements.
I’m training for this, of course. I have the best leg lockers in the game in Atos. I have Galvao,
who is a six-time ADCC Champion. We have the Ruotolos. They’re very good with big gloves.
We’ve had many other colored belts you guys don’t know about, but they’re very good leg
lockers. So yeah, I’m confident. I’m ready for the match

The post Osamah Almarwai: ‘It’s a Lot of Pressure Being the 1st Middle Eastern IBJJF Black Belt World Champion’ appeared first on Bjj Eastern Europe.

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