Last Friday, November 3, at ONE Fight Night 16: Haggerty vs. Andrade on Prime Video, the BJJ phenom earned a dominant decision victory over veteran Magomed Abdulkadirov to secure the inaugural ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Title.
Ruotolo was in the driver’s seat for the entirety of that 10-minute ground battle, which took place at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
While the American was unable to score the submission finish, he was nonetheless ecstatic to get the win and 26 pounds of gold wrapped around his waist.
The 20-year-old told onefc.com afterward:
“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.”
Indeed, Ruotolo forced the Russian on the defensive for the vast majority of the match, controlling him from dominant positions while attacking with an onslaught of submission attempts that included a deep guillotine choke and a gruesome armbar.
The American did express some disappointment in Abdulkadirov’s trepidation to engage. But given his own reputation as one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound submission hunters, he realizes that many adversaries are likely to play it safe.
“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.”
Still, the newly crowned welterweight submission grappling king was quick to give Abdulkadirov plenty of respect for gutting out some of the match’s most dangerous submission threats.
He spoke about what his opponent brought to the table:
“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.”
‘A War Every Time We Fight’ – Tye Ruotolo Says Kade Would Be His Toughest Opponent
Now that he owns a coveted golden belt, Tye Ruotolo thinks the door is wide open for a champion vs. champion showdown against none other than his own brother, reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo.
According to Tye, a grappling contest against Kade would be no different than the pair’s epic and ultra-competitive training sessions – something they’ve been doing since they were 3 years old:
“My brother and I, we’re always open to fighting each other because we do it every day, you know? So it’s nothing out of the normal.”
If they were to lock horns with a ONE World Title on the line, it wouldn’t be the first time the twin prodigies have gone head-to-head in competition.
The Ruotolos have squared off three times before, most recently as brown belts in the final of the 2021 IBJJF World Championships. Tye won that match and the two before it, but each time only after a wild back-and-forth battle.
Despite those wins, Tye says that Kade – with his incredible technical acumen and intimate knowledge of his sibling’s skills – remains his most difficult potential opponent:
“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.”