At ONE 157, the grappling world will be keeping a watchful eye on the main card as grizzled legend Garry Tonon will face one of the rising stars of the sport. Tonon, known as one of the greatest submission grapplers of all time, will lock horns with Tye Ruotolo, one-half of the famed Ruotolo Twins.
Tye and his brother Kade became famous as jiu-jitsu's first-ever sibling child stars as they ran roughshod in the sport since they were teenagers. Beating renowned blackbelts while they were still purplebelts, the now-blackbelt Ruotolo Twins represent the newest, most advanced iteration of jiu-jitsu today.
Garry Tonon, also known as 'The Lion Killer', is perhaps the first superstar to come out of the famed 'Danaher Death Squad', a grappling stable known for its inventive leglock submissions and unbreakable attack system.
Having already won pretty much every gold medal created in jiu-jitsu, the 30-year-old living legend is still not done. Despite already having a blossoming MMA career, Tonon chose to come back to his roots and see what the fuss is all about with the Ruotolo Twins.
In an extended interview with ONE Championship, Garry Tonon explained that he is not quite ready to "pass the torch" yet:
"Well, first of all, let's be clear. I'm keeping the torch [laughs]. I'm not passing it to anybody. Certainly not yet, anyway. That's the plan, anyway... but you know, the grappling world has changed so drastically since I first came on the stage and started competing professionally. It really is a new generation. Even though it's a very short period of time... There is a generational gap there in terms of how they came up to Jiu-jitsu and how I came up to jiu-jitsu. The techniques that I was learning as a whitebelt are very different from the techniques that they were learning when they were whitebelts, bluebelts, etc."
Being that he is still just 30-years-old, Garry Tonon believes that he is still in his prime. He admits, however, that the landscape of jiu-jitsu today is wildly different from when he was at the peak of his grappling career.
The way grapplers attack and play the game has evolved tremendously and the Ruotolo Brothers are the perfect example of this.
Watch the full interview here:
Garry Tonon predicts beating Tye Ruotolo by taking his back and submitting him there
When asked how he predicted the fight with Tye Ruotolo would go, Garry Tonon provided a very skilled and informed insight:
"I find that him [Tye Ruotolo] and his brother have done a decent job dealing with leg entanglements and defending them. Under normal circumstances with most of my opponents, I'd say that would be the number one place that I would likely submit them. In this case, I think it would be a little less likely because they're gonna be on high alert. They were in high alert in their matches with [Tonon's teammates] Nicky and Ethan. They'll likely be on high alert, even more so, against myself, assuming that they know anything about what I do. So I would say that it's more likely that during those leg attacks, the back is exposed or during a scramble the back is exposed and I end up on their back."
It will be interesting to see if this will truly happen as Tye Ruotolo is famous for being action-based and explosive all throughout. The kid never stops moving and perhaps in one of his wild scrambles, Garry Tonon will see his opening. Tune in tonight to find out.