Kade Ruotolo to make MMA debut against Blake Cooper at ONE 167 in Bangkok

Kade Ruotolo (left) and Blake Cooper (right).
Kade Ruotolo (left) and Blake Cooper (right).

Kade Ruotolo's wish to jump into MMA finally has a date.

The reigning ONE lightweight submission grappling world champion will make his MMA debut against American star Blake Cooper at ONE 167 on June 7 at Impact Arena.

Sports Illustrated first reported on the development, and ONE Championship officially announced the fight on its official Instagram account.

The promotion wrote:

"The moment we've all been waiting for 🤩 Submission grappling phenom Kade Ruotolo makes his MMA debut on June 7 when he faces fellow American Blake Cooper at ONE 167! @ruotolobrothersjiujitsu #BlakeCooper"

Ruotolo has always been adamant that a move to MMA was one of his career goals, and he's getting to fulfill that career shift against the tough Cooper in Bangkok.

There's no doubt that that 21-year-old could become the best pure grappler in MMA, but his striking might just be an intriguing weapon in his MMA arsenal.

Ruotolo trained with UFC star Chito Vera in his home state of California, and he even enlisted the help of ONE interim featherweight kickboxing world champion Superbon to develop his Muay Thai and kickboxing.

The lightweight submission grappling king will join a stacked ONE 167 card that features Stamp Fairtrex defending the ONE women's atomweight MMA world title against former training partner and close friend Denice Zamboanga.

ONE 167 also features the return of Liam Harrison when the British Muay Thai legend takes on Katsuki Kitano in a bantamweight Muay Thai clash.

Ruotolo's MMA debut, and the entire ONE 167 card, is available live and free to all Prime Video subscribers in the United States and Canada.

Kade Ruotolo talks about his desire to reach champ-champ status

Kade Ruotolo is at a place in his career where collecting two world titles in as many sports is a realistic proposition.

The American star already has the ONE lightweight submission grappling world title, and he now eyes the ONE lightweight MMA world title to add to his stacked trophy cabinet.

During the post-event press conference for ONE 165, Ruotolo said:

"I know it's coming up really quick, but you know, my dream is to become the double-champ for ONE Championship - jiu-jitsu and MMA."

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Edited by C. Naik
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