‘It Would Be Crazy’ – Kade And Tye Ruotolo Open To Brother Vs. Brother Match In ONE
Last Friday at ONE on Prime Video 5, the 19-year-old BJJ phenoms each picked up sensational victories at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
In the co-main event, Kade successfully defended his ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title against elite challenger Matheus Gabriel. And earlier in the evening, Tye submitted former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov with an electrifying armbar.
Given their continued success since joining ONE Championship and their big dreams in the organization, fans and media are bound to speculate – would the twins face each other in the Circle?
For his part, Tye says a sibling matchup is absolutely on the table:
“[Kade] has the 170-pound belt, and I can still make it down to 170 with some time. I want to be fighting for a belt, and my brother and I can have a match at some point, for sure. We can market that. It would be crazy. An absolute barnburner of a match.”
It wouldn’t be the first time these prodigies have squared off in a battle for fraternal superiority.
But while Kade is the reigning ONE World Champion, he hasn’t earned a win over his brother yet, and he would love to gain some redemption.
The lightweight submission grappling king said:
“I’m technically 0-3 against [Tye] in competition, so I want that one more than he does.”
Indeed, the brothers last faced off in the 2021 IBJJF World Championship Final as brown belts, and Tye scored a victory in one of the year’s most thrilling BJJ contests.
But over the past couple of years, he’s opted to move up in weight to avoid a clash with his brother. And while he’s certainly open to another match against Kade, that’s not necessarily his first choice.
“I started fighting bigger people a little while ago, and the reason for that being is because my brother and I, we always were the same size growing up. The last couple of years, I’ve had maybe a 5-pound weight advantage on him, so I’ve just been going up in divisions so we can stay away from each other.
“Because at the end of the day, I don’t like to fight him that much. He’s super tough, and it’s my brother at the end of the day. I’ve been moving up, fighting all the big guys, and I’m figuring out the formula.”
Tye Still Wants De Ridder; Kade Thinks Dalpra And Langaker Are ‘Bit Scared’
While they might eventually meet inside the Circle, the Ruotolo brothers have some potential next opponents in mind.
Following his victory over Gabriel last Friday, Tye set his sights on reigning middleweight MMA king Reinier de Ridder, who lost his light heavyweight gold in the main event of ONE on Prime Video 5.
In the post-fight press conference, Ruotolo explained why he called out the Dutchman – a BJJ and judo black belt – for a submission grappling match:
“For me, I want to start at the 185-pound division. Maybe get the belt there and if that doesn’t work out, I’m open to fighting anyone. My thing is I love fighting big guys and beating bigger people. Really anyone in the world. The bigger the better.
“I’m really excited to keep it going, keep fighting these big guys. And yeah, when De Ridder gets all healed up, I’ll be stoked to put a D’Arce on him.”
As for Kade, the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion is hoping to defend his belt against either Tainan Dalpra or Tommy Langaker – two of the planet’s top BJJ competitors, both of whom are signed to ONE Championship.
But Ruotolo previously called out both of those athletes – to no avail – and he believes they might be ducking him.
Asked whether Dalpra and Langaker are avoiding him, Kade replied:
“Guaranteed, I think so. Especially Tainan. I don’t like to be too persistent, call too many people out. But it’s got to a point where they either gotta take it or leave it, I guess, so I think they are a bit scared.”