‘Our Dreams Are Coming True ‘ – Ruotolo Brothers Putting Final Touches On BJJ And Surf Destination In Costa Rica
On November 3 at ONE Fight Night 16: Haggerty vs. Andrade on Prime Video, 20-year-old phenom Tye Ruotolo could accomplish a massive career goal when he battles Magomed Abdulkadirov for the inaugural ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Title.
But away from competition, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is moving closer to accomplishing another lifelong dream with his twin brother, Kade Ruotolo.
Ahead of his highly anticipated showdown with Abdulkadirov – set to air live in U.S. primetime from Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand – Ruotolo spoke about their nearly completed vision for a surfing and BJJ destination in the tropical paradise of Costa Rica.
He told onefc.com:
“We’re building a spot where people can come train. We’re gonna teach them how to surf. We’re gonna do BJJ surf camps, just kinda come cruise in paradise for a week, up your jiu-jitsu game, and get to experience why we love it so much.”
With the help of US$50,000 performance bonuses they’ve each earned in ONE, the twin brothers were able to break ground on the project last year.
Both undefeated in the organization and widely regarded among the planet’s top pound-for-pound submission grapplers, the Ruotolos are building much more than just a gym by the beach.
The final product in Marbella, Guanacaste, will include a home for the entire family to visit – something they’ve been planning for nearly two decades.
“The gym is pretty much done. Our house that we’ve been trying to build for 17, 18 years is getting finished. We’re just being able to get our pool in. We even got an oven for our pizza, like the brick oven. Everything that we could possibly want and hope, our dreams are coming true.”
Beyond offering world-class BJJ training and surf lessons, the Ruotolos ultimately hope to show others what makes Costa Rica such a special place.
“Our main goal with what we’re doing over there is we’re building a spot where people can come. They can come train and experience really why we moved there in the first place and why we are trying to get our family there.”
‘It’s Complete Freedom’ – Tye Ruotolo On the Pull Of Costa Rica
Clearly, Costa Rica holds a special place in Tye Ruotolo’s heart.
But what exactly do he and his twin brother, reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo, love so much about the Central American nation?
The soon-to-be World Title challenger explained:
“It’s one of the best places I’ve ever been to on Earth. It’s a blue zone. There’s blue zones all over the world with people that you see living over 100 years old.”
Indeed, the food, climate, and pace of life in Costa Rica all promote the health and longevity that many elite athletes crave.
Free from outside distractions and the hustle and bustle of a city, Tye is happy to embrace a simpler lifestyle:
“There’s not too much outside bad influence. Where we’re at, our town has two restaurants. It doesn’t have a gas station, barely a grocery store. You can’t get into trouble there. If you get into trouble there, it’s because you’re riding your motorcycle too fast and you run into a tree. It’s complete freedom.”
Like any other young and successful professional athlete, Tye admits to occasionally spending too much money on things he might not need. But his investment in the Costa Rican paradise will pay dividends for years to come.
The draw of the country, he says, is a reflection of his priorities in life:
“When I’m there I just want to spearfish, surf, train, like I don’t need any of that excess stuff. What’s the saying? You buy things that you don’t need to impress people that you don’t like.
When I’m over there, all I want to do is the things that I love with the people that I love. I think that’s why we’ve always gravitated to that place.”