Kade Ruotolo has a historic 2022 campaign that saw him become the youngest ADCC World Champion of all time, and he captured the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship.
With a target on his back, Ruotolo knows the roles have reversed in the new year.
“I’m starting to secure some of the most important titles in jiu-jitsu. ONE Championship, ADCC, and so on. Everybody wants those titles. They want to take them from me. So I feel a bit more of the hunted now rather than the hunter,” Ruotolo told ONE.
In 2023, the talented Atos BJJ star will try to defend that throne. The first challenger of the year will be Tommy Langaker at ONE Fight Night 11 on Friday, June 9.
Langaker has put on exceptional performances inside the Circle and sees his opportunity to stun the young gun on a global stage. Ruotolo won’t be surprised, however, as he recognizes the skills of the Norwegian.
“Tommy is an amazing opponent. He’s very strong and flexible, which are two things that are difficult to deal with when put together,” Ruotolo said.
“I definitely respect his skills as an athlete, and I know he’s dangerous, but I don’t think there’s any way in this world that he submits me or puts me away. I think I’m going to be able to get the submission or put on a dominant performance for sure.”
The two have added a little heat to their upcoming bout at a recent ADCC event. Although the two exchanged messages later to squash the potential beef, there was a moment of uncertainty when they saw each other face-to-face.
“At the ADCC afterparty, it was getting a little crazy. [Langaker] came up to me, and he was like, ‘When are we going to fight?’ We exchanged some words. And then, long story short, I just body-locked him, and I picked him up in the air,” Ruotolo recalled.
“I was like, ‘I could slam you right now. You’re lucky I won’t.’ I told him, ‘I promise you, when I fight you, I’m going to submit you.’ So now, I’ve got to submit him.”
The 20-year-old has set the tone with his encounter with Langaker, and the pressure is firmly on his shoulders. Fans should expect Ruotolo to be aggressive from the opening bell as he attempts to back up his words to defend the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship.
“I think having an opponent that you have a little bit of tension with just excites me more than anything. I just want to submit him really bad. From the second I step foot in there, I’m going to be very, very physical until I get that submission.”
ONE Fight Night 11 airs live on Prime Video, free for all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime members. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Friday, June 9.
BJJ vs. Sambo RIVALRY 😤 Kade Ruotolo SUBMITTED Uali Kurzhev
Before ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo defends his throne against Norwegian submission specialist Tommy Langaker on June 9, …
Mma, Grappling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, One championship
Black Belt Magazine
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