Ruotolo Heel Hooks Kurzhev To Capture Inaugural ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title
In the first of three World Title bouts at ONE on Prime Video 3 this past Friday night, 19-year-old grappling phenom Kade Ruotolo was dominant from start to finish en route to claiming his 26 pounds of gold.
The BJJ prodigy needed just over four minutes to secure a heel hook and force four-time Sambo World Champion Uali Kurzhev to tap out in the first-ever ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title match.
By doing so, Ruotolo entered the history books and became the inaugural World Champion.
Both men wasted no time after the opening bell sounded inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Kurzhev pushed forward and hit an early foot sweep that caught Ruotolo off guard. That would prove to be the Russian’s only moment of success in the bout, however. He then attempted a takedown, but when the two landed on the mat, the teenager found himself with back control.
The California native spent the next few minutes hunting for a choke, but the sambo stylist put up an impressive defense and eventually returned to his feet.
But things quickly moved to the canvas once again, where Ruotolo dropped back on a leg entanglement and then quickly wrapped up his foe’s foot into a deep inside heel hook.
Kurzhev rolled to defend, but it was too little, too late, as the American dropped his full body weight to secure the tap.
Ruotolo’s electric performance earned him the win at the 4:26 mark of the 10-minute bout. It also made him the first-ever ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion and got him a US$50,000 bonus.