‘It’s Going To Change My Life’ – Izaak Michell Aims To Seize The Moment In World Title Challenge Of Tye Ruotolo

Izaak Michell ONE Championship

Australian rising star Izaak Michell is less than two weeks away from the biggest opportunity of his career.

On April 5 in U.S. primetime, the 25-year-old BJJ sensation will challenge American phenom Tye Ruotolo for the ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Title in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas on Prime Video.

While Michell will be making his ONE debut in this high-stakes showdown, he’s already earned a reputation among the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community as one of the sport’s most gritty and entertaining competitors.

Renowned for his unique blend of physicality and technical acumen, he’s also prepared to face a high level of intensity from Ruotolo, who has overwhelmed all his ONE Championship opponents to date.

The Adelaide native spoke to onefc.com ahead of their meeting in Bangkok, Thailand:

“Stylistically, we both go in head-on. We both are pretty aggressive, but we also have good timing and can be smooth at the same time.

“So, it’s a really interesting matchup. I can’t wait. I’m really excited to see what happens.”

Widely recognized as the planet’s second-best 185-pound competitor behind Ruotolo, the promotional newcomer believes that his fluid approach to grappling makes him an incredibly difficult puzzle to solve.

More than just an entertainer with big takedowns and beautiful back-takes in his toolbox, Michell says the key to his success at the world-class level has been his ability to stay present during fights, shifting his strategy and tactics as needed:

“I think one of my biggest strengths as a grappler is my timing and my ability to change my intensity throughout the match. I think I’m able to be pretty conscious of what’s happening, and I have good reactions to everything.

“So, I think it’s quite interesting to have a match with me because I feel very strong at times and very tense, but then I’ll be loose other times, and it’s hard to read. It’s hard to catch my timing and my patterns, as well.”

Michell will certainly lean on his unpredictability against Ruotolo, who is 5-0 in ONE Championship with three submission wins.

If he can wrest the World Title from the 21-year-old reigning king, the Australian will establish himself as the world’s top welterweight submission grappler and earn recognition on a truly global scale.

He spoke about the importance of this battle:

“Man, this would mean everything. I think it’s definitely perfect timing with the alignment of where I’m at on my journey. I think it’s going to really set me up for my future and be a huge thing. It’s going to change my life.”

Izaak Michell Breaks Down Tye Ruotolo’s Style

Izaak Michell knows he’ll be facing a true pound-for-pound powerhouse when he squares off with Tye Ruotolo at ONE Fight Night 21.

Supremely analytical in his approach, the challenger has been closely watching the Californian for some time and recognizes plenty of similarities between their respective styles.

Ruotolo’s primary strengths, he says, are his absurdly well-rounded skill set, relentless offense, and confidence to pull the trigger under the bright lights:

“What he does well is he’s very aggressive, but at the same time, he can change his intensity and be smooth, and he’s not afraid to do anything that comes up. So, he might not know or specialize in this move, but he’s willing to do it when it counts in the big competition.

“Basically, he throws the kitchen sink at you, and if you’re not prepared to deal with that, then a lot of people get caught, and then it’s just too much. It’s an overwhelming amount of offense coming at them at once.”

Michell adds that he’s done his homework and respects what Ruotolo will bring to the table.

At the same time, he’s devised a plan to take out the defending king and leave Bangkok with 26 pounds of gold wrapped around his waist:

“I’ve been watching a lot of Tye’s matches and studying him, and I’m very impressed with him as a grappler. He has been doing this for his whole life since he was a kid, so it really shows just in his body movements and everything.

“So yeah, I’ve been game-planning for this match, and I’m really excited to unfold that.”

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