On the main card at ONE 157, a legend in submission grappling, Garry Tonon, faced one of the most prodigious athletes in the game, Tye Ruotolo. Tye and his twin brother Kade are best known as the Ruotolo Brothers, jiu-jitsu's first sibling child stars.
The match was deemed the passing of the torch as the 19-year old Tye is considered a product of modern jiu-jitsu, while Tonon has seen and done it all in the sport.
In a shocking turn of events, Tye Ruotolo submitted the submission legend in less than two minutes. Even just writing that sentence sends chills down our spine. Tonon is a man considered an icon in the sport, winning almost every medal created in submission grappling. No one's ever submitted him as handily and swiftly as Ruotolo did.
The match started with Ruotolo feinting a lot and engaging Tonon, who looked very relaxed. Perhaps too relaxed. After some action on the feet, Ruotolo got a bodylock and threw Tonon to the ground. An attempt at a leglock followed, after which Tonon inadvertedly exposed his neck and Ruotolo pounced in and locked a tight D'Arce choke. 'The Lion Killer' tried to defend but eventually succumbed and tapped out.
In the post-fight interview, a very excited Ruotolo gave a little bit of insight into what he initially planned to do:
"I'll be honest, when I first took the match, I thought it was gonna take me about 6 or 7 minutes before getting the sub. Through fight week I was sizing up Garry. I thought he was gonna come a little bit quicker. That's what we expected. My brother got a killer D'Arce [choke] so I'm stoked to pull it off tonight, for sure."
When asked about the submission he pulled off on his ONE 157 opponent, Ruotolo said:
"Yeah, that was perfect. The technique, the positioning, so I just know I couldn't burn out my arms, so I kept the same pace and I got the tap. I'm super grateful to have the match with Garry. He's a beast. A legend of the sport, for sure. Great win over him. Thank you."
Tye Ruotolo's performance at ONE 157 was so incredible that ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong awarded him a $50,000 performance bonus.
The Ruotolo Brothers went 2-0 at ONE 157
Right before his bout with Garry Tonon at ONE 157, Tye Ruotolo's twin brother, Kade, faced Japanese grappling and MMA legend, Shinya Aoki. Much like Tye had done to his opponent, Kade absolutely dominated the legend. He did some things in the bout that we've never seen attempted in grappling before.
Ruotolo came out aggressive while Aoki was content to defend and be more steady. After some action and stalemates on the feet, Ruotolo went for an ankle pick and then spun Aoki to get his back. In back control, while trapping one of Aoki's arms, Kade constantly hunted for the sub. Aoki escaped and they were back on their feet.
Aoki seemed to use the cage to his advantage as Ruotolo is not used to having a wall to stop him from blasting through his opponents. In an ironic twist, however, Ruotolo planted his foot on the cage and then launched himself like a squirrel and jumped guard. During the crazy scramble, Ruotolo transitioned to Aoki's back.
As the match neared its end, as if he hadn't exhausted all his crazy moves, Kade attempted a guillotine choke from the back. The match ended with Kade trying his best to submit Aoki with his trademark Buggy Choke from guard. With no submission scored, Ruotolo got a clear judges' decision as he constantly hunted for submissions the whole time.
After their dominant debut at ONE 157, fans can't wait to see what the Ruotolo Brothers are going to pull off in their next outing.