Kade Ruotolo proved Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is still the king of the grappling arts, as he became the inaugural ONE lightweight submission grappling world champion at ONE on Prime Video 3: Lineker vs. Andrade on Friday, October 21 (US Primetime).
In the first of three world title bouts inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, the 19-year-old phenom submitted sambo specialist Uali Kurzhev with a heel hook.
Despite the significant age gap between the two, Ruotolo was the one who looked like the grizzled vet against the 33-year-old Russian.
Kurzhev sent a message right away with his strength and delivered an outside trip. But not to be deterred, the BJJ ace got right back up and jumped on Kurzhev’s back and threatened with a rear-naked choke.
Kurzhev used brute power to escape, but he wasn’t ready for Ruotolo’s relentlessness. The multi-time sambo world champion tried to mount an offense of his own with his patented leg attacks.
But in the end, Ruotolo turned the tables and was the one who locked in a painful heel hook at the 4:26 mark of the fight. The Russian had no choice but to tap.
Aside from the shiny new gold strap, Ruotolo also came away with the fourth $50,000 bonus of the night for his marvelous performance.
Kade Ruotolo became ONE’s second submission grappling world champion, following Mikey Musumeci’s footsteps.
‘Darth Rigatoni’ won the inaugural ONE flyweight submission grappling world championship earlier this month against Cleber Sousa.
Ruotolo, on the other hand, collected his second win inside the circle after dominating Shinya Aoki in a 10-minute grappling war this past March.
After failing to submit the Japanese icon, the BJJ phenom vowed to finish Kurzhev and he certainly lived up to that promise.
Meanwhile, ONE’s ever-growing submission grappling scene has just gotten bigger. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the dynamic Kade Ruotolo.
Kade Ruotolo wants to defend his world title ASAP
Ruotolo will no doubt be celebrating the spoils of his victory tonight, but he also can’t wait to get back in the circle.
Speaking to Mitch Chilson post-fight, the Team ATOS representative said he wants to fight again on ONE’s December cards in Manila.
Kade Ruotolo said:
“I think December you guys have another show. As soon as we can get back here in the circle, the better. I want to defend my world title ASAP."
The new lightweight submission grappling world champion even suggested two possible opponents:
“I got a couple of names in mind. They both start with T’s. Tainan Dalpra and Tommy Langaker and both of those matches would be insane.”