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Kade Ruotolo Uses Music To Help Find A Rhythm Ahead Of ONE 167 MMA Debut

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Kade Ruotolo set the jiu-jitsu world on fire and has shined under the bright lights of ONE Championship. On Friday, June 7, the southern Californian will dip his toes into the mixed martial arts waters at ONE 167. Ruotolo will meet Blake Cooper in a lightweight MMA battle at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.

One of the things that has helped the developing star in the gym has been music. In an interview with ONE Championship, Ruotolo described how it helps him flow into his training. Specifically, the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion mentioned how reggae has played a vital role in his BJJ development.

“I love reggae music. My entire life, my parents grew us up on it. I’ve always just kind of been growing up in that style of music. I love the rhythm and the flow. It’s really easy to train jiu-jitsu to reggae because there’s a good rhythm, and you can honestly find yourself getting lost in the songs while training,” Ruotolo described.

However, he needed music with a little more attitude for his MMA training. While he still has music blaring over the speakers, it comes in a more aggressive tone. Ruotolo described that as he trains for Cooper, he wants music that shifts his mindset in a different direction.

“The only times I’ve found myself changing it up is when I’m going in for MMA sparring. I’ll put on some rap or whatever, just to hype me up and get into kill mode. But other than that, I’m just going in for jiu-jitsu, it’s mostly just good vibes, and I’m listening to reggae,” the Atos BJJ star said.

Whether it’s reggae, rap, or any other genre of music, Ruotolo is clear that music can help set a tone. The key is to be relaxed and allow the training to take over. Music, according to Ruotolo, is a helpful assist to the mental aspect of the sport.

“Music has a rhythm the same way fighting has rhythm. And if you’re not in rhythm, it always feels like the match isn’t going your way. I believe it can even start with music, just getting into your rhythm, and you can bring that into the match.”

For Ruotolo, he often chooses a little local flavor for his training. The playlist almost always includes a southern Californian reggae vibe from Tribal Seeds. The band can frequently be heard as Ruotolo rolls on the mat.

“Tribal Seeds is the best. We’ve been listening to Tribal Seeds forever, all their albums, I’ve probably listened to every single song they’ve made. They’re out of San Diego.”

The San Diego connection between the two has created a relationship that Ruotolo hopes to expand in the future. Ruotolo often uses their songs in social media posts and for his walkout music, and Tribal Seeds will repost those moments. In the future, the lightweight standout hopes to have them live in the arena so they can experience what he does once he finds his rhythm through their music.

“It’s super cool. Sometimes when we post the stories, or now, even when we’re walking out, they’ll tune in and they hear the Tribal Seeds, so they’ll throw it on their story, so it’s super cool. One of their recent shows out in Mission Bay, they got us a couple tickets for it, so we went out there, and it’s super cool. We’re super thankful for that relationship. I told them, ‘If you guys want to come out to the next one, let me know. Yeah, those guys are absolute legends.”

ONE 167 airs live on Friday, June 7, on Prime Video. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.

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