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‘They Don’t Feel Any Pressure’ – Andre Galvao Explains Why The Ruotolo Brothers Are So Special

May 19, 2022
Tye Ruotolo and Kade Ruotolo with Andre Galvao

Andre Galvao knows exactly what it takes to reach the top of the martial arts world, and that’s why he’s so convinced that his star pupils are destined for greatness.

The BJJ legend coaches Tye Ruotolo and Kade Ruotolo at Atos in California, and he can’t wait to watch the 19-year-old phenoms make their ONE Championship submission grappling debuts at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot this Friday.

Both matches will come against elite opponents – with Tye facing American superstar Garry Tonon and Kade meeting Japanese legend Shinya Aoki – but Galvao is not fazed by the task at hand.

He believes the brothers have maturity well beyond their years and expects them to embrace the bright lights at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The 39-year-old said:

“They have trained jiu-jitsu since they were 3 years old. And not only that, the fact that they have a super-strong mindset where they’re always happy, always positive, I believe that makes a huge difference. Of course they work really hard, but their talent comes from the ability to deal with pressure in a very good way. And I believe that comes because they have been competing since they were 3 years old.”

“That’s why when they go to compete, they don’t feel any pressure, they just go and fight hard. When there’s an enemy, right, an opponent, a challenge, they know how to turn on the trigger, to go for the kill, and it is incredible.”

Despite still being young relative to most top-level competitors, Tye and Kade are also pioneers in the sport.

Much like Tonon and Aoki, they’re setting new trends and utilizing modern techniques that are way beyond the curve of their peers.

For his part, Galvao thinks that eye for progress in grappling will make up for any potential disadvantages the Ruotolos might come across against older, stronger foes.

He explained:

“They’re very smart. They’re always looking for improvement. They’re always looking to find a better position, a better situation, a better technique. They’re very creative as well, and I think this creativity helps them to be unorthodox, I would say.

“They know how to use their body type, too. They have long limbs. They’re not physically super strong, they are still teenagers. But I imagine when those guys get to the adult age, they’re going to be super strong as well, mixed with their talents and their unorthodox style.”

Galvao Expects The Ruotolos To Frustrate, Overwhelm Tonon, Aoki

Tye Ruotolo and Kade Ruotolo are considered grappling phenoms for a reason, but Garry Tonon and Shinya Aoki have seen and done it all against the best opponents around the globe.

With that in mind, Atos coach Andre Galvao doesn’t think either of his young BJJ black belts will have an easy night on Friday – but he still only envisions a pair of victories in “The Lion City.”

Galvao said of Tye’s match against Tonon:

“I know Garry. He’s very aggressive. He goes for the heel hooks. He has a good back take. Garry has good pressure as well, good body locks. Tye has a tremendous defense in the heel hooks and attacks like that. And also, he has a lot of counters. 

“I think Tye will get a submission. I don’t know how, because I could say anything – via heel hook or via [rear-naked choke] or via D’arce choke – but I can see Tye pushing the pace and going super hard while Garry starts getting tired and a little frustrated at not finding ways to finish him.”

Aoki is a former ONE Lightweight World Champion in MMA who owns the most submission finishes in promotional history.

However, Galvao thinks Kade will simply overwhelm the Japanese veteran with relentless pace and pressure from the opening bell.

He added:

“Kade’s style is more crazy. He likes to fly, he likes to roll. He will do backflips while he’s fighting. So he’s very unpredictable and super aggressive as well. So I think the pace that he’s going to set on Aoki will amaze all of us. 

“I know Shinya has an amazing armbar and amazing attacks but he fights more slow. And I believe the pace and the rhythm that Kade will impose on Aoki will be enough to break him. It’s going to be super hard for Aoki, definitely. I don’t see him being any threat to Kade. Not underestimating him, but Kade is ahead of the game.”

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