Kade Ruotolo Successfully Defends Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title Against Tommy Langaker
The co-main event of ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov on Prime Video saw ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo take on his stiffest test to date in the form of top European competitor Tommy Langaker.
On June 9, the two elite BJJ black belts squared off with 26 pounds of gold on the line at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
And after a feud that had been brewing since last year, both men put on a beautiful display of jiu-jitsu technique, showcasing true world-class ground skills.
Ruotolo attacked from the top position for the vast majority of the 10-minute submission-only encounter, constantly looking to pass Langaker’s vaunted guard.
The Norwegian, in return, launched his offense from his back as he attempted to enter into leg entanglements, even finding a heel hook early that caused the titleholder to roll across the ring in defense. That submission attempt scored the challenger an official catch.
The American stormed back, though, countering Langaker’s leg locks with diving back-takes. And while he wasn’t able to secure a clean dominant position, Ruotolo never once took his foot off the gas pedal and earned a catch of his own with a brutal ankle lock attempt.
The two grapplers exchanged positions at an incredibly high pace for the entire match, but it was the 20-year-old phenom who ultimately found more successful offense overall, thanks to his relentless pacing and several near back-takes.
That work secured Ruotolo the unanimous decision and the second successful defense of his lightweight submission grappling crown. The Californian now boasts a 25-2 career record in BJJ competition and has yet again asserted himself as one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound submission grapplers.
Moreover, the young superstar made quite the statement in his post-match interview, saying that he’s planning a move into MMA by the end of this year.