At ONE Fight Night 16, Tye Ruotolo became the first-ever ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Champion. In a dominant performance, Ruotolo won the gold by unanimous decision. The American joined his brother, Kade, as a ONE Championship titleholder even though he was not satisfied with being unable to secure a submission.
“I’m pretty happy, for sure. I did my best. When I go out there, that’s all I can do is do my best. And I’m always happy when I get the submission, of course. That’s always my goal when I step on the mat, but my opponent didn’t give me a lot of opportunity,” Ruotolo told ONE.
Ruotolo has been impeccable in ONE competition. He has beaten the likes of Garry Tonon, Marat Gafurov, and Reinier De Ridder. Known as one of the pound-for-pound best submission aces in the world, Ruotolo believes his growing popularity has played a role in the lack of finishes. It’s something that he hopes does not become a trend.
“I guess I’m starting to create a big enough name to where people don’t want to attack me. I think I need more opponents I want to come at me, you know. So I hope my next person, my next opponent, they’re ready to fight,” Ruotolo admitted.
Magomed Abdulkadirov survived multiple catches during his attempt to defeat Ruotolo in Bangkok. His defensive abilities were sound, but it was his toughness that truly brought admiration out of his Californian opponent. Ruotolo remarked on the difficulty in putting away Abdulkadirov after the event.
“You know, he’s very resilient, for sure. He’s very tough and he’s definitely got some gnarly neck muscles. And I hope his arm’s okay because that armbar was super tight. He’s just very resilient,” the Californian noted.
View this post on Instagram
One of the most intriguing bouts that is possible for Ruotolo is a meeting against the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion. That man just happens to be his brother, Kade. However, it would not be the first time the two would compete if the bout comes to fruition.
Unlike other combat sports, it is not uncommon for athletes with close ties to compete against one another. The Ruotolo twins have met multiple times on the mat, and Tye has gotten the edge in recent meetings. Under the bright lights of ONE, on a global stage, a rematch could captivate the martial arts world, and Tye is excited about the proposition.
“I have three wins over my brother, which is funny because most of the time he was beating me, you know, so I caught him in the end, pretty much every time. And I think, in my life, there’s no one that I’d rather fight in a competition. And my brother, he’s the toughest guy in the world. You can fight big guys, but the scariest thing is someone technical, and my brother knows my game perfectly. So it’s gonna be a war every time we fight, and I’m open to fighting for sure,” Ruotolo said.