Tye Ruotolo Hits Brilliant ‘Ruotolotine’ To Finish Izaak Michell, Retains Submission Grappling Crown

Tye Ruotolo Izaak Michell ONE Fight Night 21 13

Tye Ruotolo walked into ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas on Prime Video looking to make a successful first defense of his ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Title on Friday, April 5, and he accomplished that in spectacular fashion.

The American had called out Australian standout Izaak Michell for several months, and in front of a U.S. primetime audience, he forced his challenger to tap out and retained his gold with an innovative submission hold that shocked everyone inside Bangkok’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, as well as the global BJJ community.

As many expected, Ruotolo and Michell spent the early moments of the co-main event battle jockeying for position on the feet, as each man was eager to flex their elite wrestling and takedown skills. The titleholder pressed forward behind heavy collar ties, but the Australian challenger was able to remain defensively sound and even controlled much of the action standing.

After about three minutes, Michell secured a standing back position, but the young American exploded into a reversal, ultimately landing in mount position. From there, Ruotolo didn’t let his foot off the gas, as he quickly moved to the back and didn’t hesitate to sink in a modified arm-in choke.

The 25-year-old Aussie gamely tried to fight off the choke, but in the end, he was forced to tap out at the 4:43 mark of the 10-minute contest.

Incredibly, Ruotolo used the same exact choke that his twin brother, ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo, had used earlier in the night to submit Brazilian newcomer Francisco Lo.

Naturally, the World Champion siblings have dubbed the move the “Ruotolotine” – and it was good enough to net the 21-year-old titleholder a US$50,000 performance bonus.

With the highlight-reel victory, Ruotolo extended his pristine ONE Championship record to 6-0 and improved his career slate to 27-9. What’s more, the win over the highly regarded Michell only further solidified the Californian’s status as a true pound-for-pound powerhouse.

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