‘I Like Beating Tough Guys’ – Kade Ruotolo Is Pumped For A Unique Challenge In Francisco Lo

Kade Ruotolo Tommy Langaker ONE 165 6

Current ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo is in pursuit of the biggest obstacles he can find.

At ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas on Prime Video, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom will once again test himself against one of the planet’s best competitors – this time against talented submission hunter Francisco Lo in a 180-pound non-title catchweight matchup.

That bout will go down in U.S. primetime this Friday, April 5, and it will come shortly before twin brother Tye Ruotolo defends his ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Title against Izaak Michell in the evening’s co-main event.

Undefeated in five ONE Championship appearances and fresh off a dominant World Title victory over IBJJF No-Gi World Champion Tommy Langaker in January, Kade is excited for a relatively quick return to action against a supremely dangerous opponent.

He spoke to onefc.com about why he’s so pumped to lock horns with Lo in Bangkok, Thailand:

“Honestly, what excites me is his last solid win. I saw him get a submission win over [ADCC Trials winner] Jacob Couch, and he beat some high-level guys. And I’ve seen that win over [ADCC Trials winner] William Tackett, and he has some solid wins under his belt.

“He’s, for the most part, a submission-based, submission-oriented fighter. He throws some crazy subs out there, and I just think it will be a very fun and intriguing matchup.”

Indeed, Lo has taken out some of the sport’s top athletes since receiving his BJJ black belt in May 2022.

And as Ruotolo quickly points out, the Brazilian has rightfully earned his reputation as an innovative submission ace, capable of ending the match at a moment’s notice from practically any position.

Lo’s dangerous submission prowess is exactly why the 21-year-old titleholder wants to face him. There’s no bad blood. There’s no maneuvering for a bigger and better opportunity.

According to Ruotolo, his desire to square off with Lo is simple: He’s an elite grappler with undeniable, world-class skills:

“My thing is I just want to face tough guys. Anyone top ranked, top 10, who’s a tough match, who I personally know is gonna be a tough fight, that’s something that makes me excited.

“I know Francisco is a beast. It’s not like he has the most amount of clout or whatever I get from beating him. It’s more of the sense that I’m gonna feel good after beating him because I know he’s a tough jiu-jitsu practitioner. I’ve watched him beat tough guys, and I like beating tough guys.”

Ruotolo Breaks Down Tricky Matchup With Lo: ‘It Could Go Any Which Direction’

Given Francisco Lo’s penchant for finding the surprise submission, Kade Ruotolo knows he’ll need to be on point for every second of their contest at ONE Fight Night 21.

The promotional newcomer’s impressive resume boasts submission wins ranging from flying triangles to never-before-seen leg locks.

With that in mind, the lightweight submission grappling kingpin admits that Lo will present some unique challenges this Friday:

“It seems like all of his main attacks, his main submissions, are kind of things he pulls out of his back pocket, things you don’t really see coming.

“Is it something that worries me? It doesn’t worry me. It’s something that makes me stay alert. It’s a type of fight that you gotta stay on your A-game and stay alert the whole time. You can’t let your guard down and just kinda be relaxed. With that being said, I’m excited to fight someone like that.”

For his part, Ruotolo is widely regarded as one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound submission hunters, renowned for his D’Arce chokes, heel hooks, and armbars that typically come after a flurry of explosive aggression.

Always confident in his skills – honed over a lifetime of training under the best BJJ coaches in the world – the American is sure he can submit Lo, but he has no idea how the rest of the fight will play out.

Ruotolo explained:

“I think this match is really interesting because it’s a bit of a question mark all around as far as what submissions I can throw and what submissions he can throw. He’s got some crafty triangles and foot locks. I got some triangles, armbars, footlocks, chokes of my own, as well.

“So it could go anywhere. I’m not sure exactly what he’s got in mind, but for me personally, I think it could go any which direction. Even more so than any match I’ve had in the past, this one is a solid question mark.

“I don’t really care, I don’t really have a preference. Whatever he shows me, I’m gonna take it.”

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