Kade Ruotolo Pushes The Pace Against Matheus Gabriel, Retains Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title
Kade Ruotolo solidified his position as the best lightweight grappler on the planet in the co-main event of ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin this past Friday, December 2.
Although the 19-year-old phenom couldn’t secure the tap inside the allotted 10-minute round against Matheus Gabriel, there was never any doubt that he deserved the judges’ decision to retain his ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship.
Ruotolo set his stall out early at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, racing toward the Brazilian and slamming him hard to the canvas from a body lock. The reigning titleholder worked to pass, throwing out foot lock attempts along the way, but multiple-time BJJ World Champion Gabriel’s exceptional guard kept him at bay.
Not making any ground, Ruotolo decided to flip past his challenger’s legs and landed in a leg entanglement during the ensuing scramble, where he almost locked up a knee bar.
The durable Gabriel held out, eventually escaped, and continued to work from guard each time he was taken down, but it was Ruotolo who dove for submissions at every opportunity. Another close attempt went awry after the teenage sensation quickly jumped for a heel hook, but the Brazilian veteran managed to wriggle free.
After the 10-minute round concluded, the judges awarded the victory to Ruotolo. However, the California native wasn’t pleased that he didn’t get the finish he so desperately wanted.
In his post-fight interview with Mitch Chilson, Ruotolo said:
“I tried my hardest. I was pushing the pace. Sorry to all you guys, I would have loved to get to the submission, but I tried my best for sure to put on a show!”