Relive Kade Ruotolo’s insane athleticism in ONE debut against Shinya Aoki

Kade Ruotolo, Shinya Aoki | Image courtesy of ONE
Kade Ruotolo (left), Ruotolo vs. Shinya Aoki (right) | Image courtesy of ONE

At ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov on Prime Video, Kade Ruotolo will look to defend his ONE lightweight submission grappling world title against Norwegian BJJ standout Tommy Langaker. It will be the 20-year-old grappling prodigy's second defense of his belt.

Needless to say, this upcoming contest between two of the best grapplers today will most likely produce one of the most exciting submission grappling bouts of the year. We'd say it would be comparable to the excitement Kade Ruotolo produced when he made his promotional debut last year at ONE 157.

Ruotolo faced Japanese MMA legend and former ONE lightweight world champion Shinya Aoki. Like his brother Tye who faced another grappling legend in Garry Tonon on the same night, Kade Ruotolo absolutely dominated the bout. Not only did he dominate, but the future ONE world champion also pulled off some moves that we've never seen attempted in submission grappling before.

Watch Ruotolo vs. Aoki below:


Kade Ruotolo came out aggressive as he always does, while Aoki elected to be more passive. The first of many crazy Ruotolo moves happened when he used an ankle pick to spin Aoki around to take his back. After some struggle, Aoki escaped the back control and wiggled out.

The Japanese legend seemed to use the cage to his advantage as Kade Ruotolo wasn't used to having a wall to stop him finishing his blast double legs on his opponent. In an ironic twist, however, the 20-year-old grappling wizard used the cage to launch himself ala 'Showtime kick' and jumped guard. Another scramble ensued and Ruotolo once again found his way to Aoki's back.

As the match neared its conclusion, Ruotolo pulled off one crazy move by attempting a guillotine choke from the back. The match ended with Ruotolo trying his best to submit Aoki with his signature Buggy Choke from guard. With no submission scored at the final bell, the American BJJ blackbelt got a clear unanimous decision for having the most number of submission attempts.

After his successful ONE debut, Kade Ruotolo became the youngest ADCC world champion and then submitted Uali Kurzhev to win the inaugural ONE lightweight submission grappling world title. He defended the belt shortly after against Matheus Gabriel. He accomplished all of this in 2022, becoming ONE's Submission Grappling Athlete of the Year.

ONE Fight Night 11 will be broadcast live from the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on June 9. The event will be available live and for free to all Prime Video subscribers in North America.

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Edited by Aziel Karthak
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