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Kade Ruotolo Critical Of Tommy Langaker Ahead Of ONE 165 Rematch: ‘Tommy Pretty Much Does The Same Thing Every Time’

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ONE Championship returns to Tokyo for one of 2024’s best cards on Sunday, January 28, with ONE 165. Part of the jam-packed lineup is a rematch for the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship. However, the result of the first meeting is still bothering the reigning king.

Kade Ruotolo edged out Tommy Langaker by a decision at ONE Fight Night 11. The absence of a submission still irks him to this day. It is something he is motivated to change in the weekend’s co-main event.

“I got the win. However, it wasn’t the way I wanted to win. You know, I would definitely want to get the finish. And that’s pretty much the reason why I’m accepting the rematch this time around because I want to submit him,” Ruotolo told ONE.

The 20-year-old is still putting the pieces together to peak at the right time. The learning process is something he believes kept him from being able to submit his Norwegian counterpart last June. Heading into ONE 165, Ruotolo feels he has fully prepared himself to defend his crown.

“I’m never one to make any excuses, but my last camp was just, you know, nowhere near where I wanted it to be as far as my preparation, due to some outside reasons. And this time around, I’ve been a lot more focused, I’ve been a lot more hungry, and it’s going to show,” the lightweight titleholder remarked.

Ruotolo confessed he would submit Langaker on Sunday. But that is likely easier said than done. While Ruotolo has yet to compete since their first meeting, Langaker has shined in various tournaments to keep himself busy.

One reason the Southern Californian’s confidence is so high is that he does not feel Langaker has the arsenal that he brings to the table. Specifically, Ruotolo does not see much evolution in his opponent’s ground attack. He expects he will see the same thing at ONE 165 that he saw in 2023.

“Tommy pretty much does the same thing every time he steps in that ring. And I think that’s what makes my brother’s [Tye Ruotolo] and my games kind of hard to plan for because we could take the fight in any direction,” the American said.

The reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion went so far as to say Langaker complains when his game starts to fail. The pointed comments bring a little more spice to their rematch. With so much at stake on a loaded card, Ruotolo wants to bring the heat and remain aggressive in defense of his crown.

“I believe he really does tend to go for the same things, and that’s the K-guard crunch and try to find the back-take off it. You know, there are guys that tend to run from him, he tries to chain it into a back-take, and he’s good at that. However, I’m not going to be fleeing. I’m going to be entering the fire,” Ruotolo said.

ONE 165 airs live on Sunday, January 28. The action begins at 3 a.m. EST/12 a.m. PST. The event is available via global pay-per-view at for $39.99.

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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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