ONE lightweight submission grappling world champion Kade Ruotolo took on IBJJF world champion Matheus Gabriel in a very entertaining grappling showcase to the delight of a packed arena.
ONE Championship has focused on bringing submission grappling to the forefront in recent months and this one was certainly no exception.
Ruotolo was absolutely on fire from the get-go, attacking with a plethora of submissions while exhibiting stellar defensive skill. In the end, Kade Ruotolo was able to secure the victory, beating Gabriel via unanimous decision.
The American grappling phenom was relentless in his offense and displayed, once again, an insane level of athleticism in search of his submission attempts. Ruotolo even executed a perfect flip and transitioned it to a tight kneebar that Gabriel, surprisingly, escaped from.
Ruotolo then went back to his bag of tricks for the second time around when he tried another toehold, but it wasn’t as tight as his earlier submission. The final half-minute saw Gabriel get some offense in when he managed to force Ruotolo to the mat.
Gabriel tried to secure a guillotine choke, but it wasn’t locked in, allowing Ruotolo to just ride the time out and secure his third straight win inside the circle.
Though Ruotolo was aggressive with his offense, the match was brought back up to a standing position a couple of times due to Gabriel’s tenaciousness on the defensive end.
Kade Ruotolo may not have secured a submission finish this time, but the creativity he displayed un his offense was more than enough to see him improve to a 3-0 record in ONE Championship.
The ONE lightweight submission grappling world title match was part of a stacked ONE on Prime Video 5 event, which took place live from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on Friday, December 2. The event was broadcast via Prime Video to fans in the United States and Canada.
What’s next for Kade Ruotolo?
As good as his performance was, there’s a growing sense that fans have yet to see the best of Kade Ruotolo in ONE Championship. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here and what heights he can reach in the organization.
In the post-fight interview with ONE Championship broadcast analyst Mitch Chilson, Ruotolo said:
“I tried my hardest I was pushing the pace sorry to all of you guys, I would’ve loved to get the submission but I tried my best to put on a show.”
“I tried to get his crazy flexible ankles and knees apparent on that first knee bar, I felt it pop but he definitely didn’t wanna get put out so it was very tight. I think the majority of people would’ve tapped out to that one but he has crazy flexibility. But next time I’ll get the submission, guaranteed.”
What could be next for Ruotolo? There are a host of options on the table. There are possible showdowns against Tommy Langaker and Garry Tonon, or even possibly his own twin brother Tye.
Whatever path Kade Ruotolo chooses to take, ONE Championship will certainly continue to put forth the absolute best submission grappling matches for fans all over the world to consume.