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“That’d be a lot of fun” - Thanh Le wants to put his black belt to the test against the Ruotolo brothers

ONE featherweight world champion Thanh Le (left) is open to grapple with the Ruotolo Brothers (right). (Image courtesy of ONE)
ONE featherweight world champion Thanh Le (left) is open to grapple with the Ruotolo Brothers (right). (Image courtesy of ONE)

What kind of insane person would think rolling with the Ruotolo brothers is a fun activity? Apparently, Thanh Le.

The ONE featherweight world champion, who faces Tang Kai at ONE 160, is known for his 100% finishing rate. The heavy-handed world champion has so far tallied 12 knockouts and one submission in his professional career.

Though he's made a name for himself by knocking people senseless, Le insists that he can also be dangerous with his grappling, as evidenced by his recently acquired jiu-jitsu black belt.

His work with one of the few remarkable jiu-jitsu masters in MMA today, Ryan Hall, has proven fruitful as Le was able to repell the grappling attacks of BJJ icon Garry Tonon.

Speaking to ONE Championship, Le reiterated the importance of jiu-jitsu and grappling in MMA, saying that he hasn't taken this aspect of the sport for granted. When asked if he was open to having a submission grappling match in ONE Championship, Le had this to say:

“Yeah, sign me up for a grappling match with somebody. That’d be a lot of fun. We get this next fight knocked out, maybe we have a little time after that. Sign me up."

Thanh Le went even further by boldly naming who he wants to fight in submission grappling:

“It can be one of [the Ruotolo brothers]. It can be anybody. I think it would be fun. I think it would be a good experience for me, and then you guys get to see a little bit of that grappling. That’d be cool, too.”

Le's undeniably confident is neither arrogant nor facetious. He is always humble and would always ground his predictions and proclamations on hard facts. If he says that he can hang and compete with one of the Ruotolos in a submission grappling match, you better believe it.


"You can’t fight without knowing jiu-jitsu" - Thanh Le on the importance of grappling in MMA

As was previously mentioned, Le is more than just an elite striker. The Vietnamese-American has come a long way since he was a mere Taekwondo fighter.

Thanh Le eloquently explained why he treats all facets of MMA seriously, particularly jiu-jitsu:

“You can’t fight without knowing jiu-jitsu – you’re just going to get mauled. [When I started, I was] like, ‘Okay, let’s learn this art, this thing that people want us to do.’ And then, just like I knew I would, I fell in love with it because it’s a wonderful martial art.”

For real practitioners of jiu-jitsu, martial arts are more than just systems to defend yourself. In its core principles, jiu-jitsu is not really a weapon - it's a gift. It instills deeper insights into humanity and how we relate to our own strengths and weaknesses.

The philosophy, tenets, techniques, training, and camaraderie one experiences in jiu-jitsu will truly make him wiser and kinder, not to mention an absolute assasin. Thanh Le completely understands the idea.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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