"I even surprised myself" - Kade Ruotolo recalls the moment he fell in love with his go-to D'Arce choke

Kade Ruotolo has been catching the D
Kade Ruotolo has been catching the D'Arce for a long time [image via ONE Championship]

Ahead of his MMA debut at ONE 167, Kade Ruotolo joined ONE flyweight MMA world champion Demetrious Johnson for a podcast interview. The ONE lightweight submission grappling world champion spoke all about his career as an elite grappler and his transition to MMA.

One aspect of his game that Johnson was keen to ask about was his signature D'Arce choke submission that he has become known for.

Kade spoke about where this particular technique started to become a difference-maker for him in competitions:

"It was around when I was 16 or 17 years old [that I fell in love with the D'Arce] because we were against these leg-lockers who were overcommitting and boom, straight to the D'Arce. So my thought was around that."

However, the origins of him using this choke go back much further, to the point where he isn't able to identify when exactly he made the technique a crucial part of his game:

"I started watching old footage and there were highlights of us at three and a half years old doing D'Arce chokes. I didn't even know I knew the D'Arce back then. There's a video of me at white belt, I'm three-and-a-half years old. This was probably before the made D'Arces illegal [in the kids' division]. I even surprised myself, I didn't know that."

Watch the full podcast interview below:

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The rear-naked choke was key for Kade Ruotolo at ONE 167

Rather than his signature D'Arce choke that he often catches elite grapplers with, it was the rear-naked choke that sealed the deal for Kade Ruotolo at ONE 167.

He was able to take the back of Blake Cooper during his MMA debut and from there, it was a downhill battle for his opponent.

The submission specialist pursued the rear-naked choke and was able to lock it in to come away with a first-round finish.

ONE 167 is available to watch back in full for free via Prime Video for US and Canadian viewers with an active subscription.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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