Kade Ruotolo scoffed at Tommy Langaker’s rather uninspired attempt at trash-talking ahead of their ONE lightweight submission grappling world championship match in less than 24 hours.
In the first of two world title fights at ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs Menshikov on Prime Video, the two IBJJF world champions will settle their differences inside the confines of a ring at the iconic Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok.
Shortly after dismantling Uali Kurzhev at ONE Fight Night 7 last February, Langaker brashly called out Ruotolo and even referred to him as “Sideshow Bob”.
The Wulfing Academy product was referencing a recurring character from the animated TV series “The Simpsons”, who sports a similar hairstyle to the 20-year-old phenom.
Speaking during his pre-event interview with South China Morning Post, Ruotolo had a good chuckle when asked about Langaker’s insult:
“Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I didn't even know who Sideshow Bob was, at first. I Googled him. Who's Sideshow Bob? It's pretty funny, it just motivates me more.”
All animosity aside, Ruotolo admits that Langaker is indeed his biggest challenge inside the Circle so far.
However, the Atos product warned the Norwegian that it’s unwise to poke the bear, adding:
“As I said, I've never really am looking to fight anyone in particular, unless I have like some sort of something that makes me want to. So anyone talking like that is going to make me want to fight them more and bring more energy.”
Watch the full interview:
Given both grapplers’ high-wire styles, fans are expecting non-stop, high-level action between these two submission hunters.
Ruotolo and Langaker are both currently unbeaten under the ONE banner, but only one fighter will leave Lumpinee with a pristine record and 26 pounds of gold in his possession.
ONE Fight Night 11 is free for existing Prime Video subscribers in the United States and Canada.