Tye Ruotolo Thrilled To Lock In Welterweight World Title Shot With Quick Submission At ONE Fight Night 13
With his latest victory at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Prime Video, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu prodigy Tye Ruotolo officially punched his ticket to a shot at the inaugural ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Title.
The 20-year-old needed less than three minutes to submit #2-ranked lightweight MMA contender Dagi Arslanaliev in their 180-pound catchweight bout last Friday, extending his flawless submission grappling record in the organization to 4-0.
Aggressive from the opening bell, Ruotolo was in control for essentially all of the bout, which took place in front of a fired-up Thai crowd at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.
At the same time, the IBJJF World Champion was quick to credit his Dagestani opponent, who accepted the matchup on short notice.
After his victory, Ruotolo spoke to the media about Arslanaliev:
“Anyone from Dagestan is gonna be tough and strong. So yeah, a lot of respect for him. Stoked to get the match and feel his strength. You know, he didn’t have to take the fight on short notice, but he did, and he showed up. He’s a gamer, so I appreciate it.”
But while the American came into the contest with plenty of respect for his foe, he expected nothing less than a submission finish.
“Anyone at 180 [pounds], I should be able to submit, no matter what. Whether they come to defend or stall, or whether they come to attack, so that’s the plan every time I step on the mats.”
With the rear-naked choke finish, Ruotolo secured a US$50,000 performance bonus and was promised a World Title shot in his next outing.
If he’s able to claim the welterweight gold, the rising superstar will take a massive step closer to earning the status of the planet’s top pound-for-pound grappler.
But according to Ruotolo – a man who’s already the youngest-ever IBJJF Black Belt World Champion – he’s the best in the world right now:
“I don’t think there’s anyone around my size that can beat me, and I think I can beat guys way bigger than me, too. So pound-for-pound, a hundred percent.”
Tye Ruotolo ‘Open’ To Matchup With Twin Brother Kade In ONE
One athlete who can contend with Tye Ruotolo’s claim to being the top pound-for-pound submission grappler is his twin brother – reigning ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo.
Naturally, fans and media have wondered if the phenoms would ever square off against each other in ONE. It wouldn’t be the first time, and Tye is certainly willing to make it happen once again:
“For sure, I’m open to it. We’ve had a few [matches]. It’s funny, the first time we fought, I ended up winning barely by decision that I shouldn’t have. I really thought he should’ve won, but the ref’s decision gave it to me.
“And then the second time that we fought, I got him in a submission. It was just pure luck. And then the third time we fought, he was smashing me, and I got him in a submission again.”
The most recent Ruotolo vs. Ruotolo showdown took place in the 2021 IBJJF Brown Belt World Championships final – one of the most thrilling gi jiu-jitsu matches of the year.
Now both elite black belts, a battle in the world’s largest martial arts organization would undoubtedly deliver more fireworks.
According to Tye, his brother is itching to earn his first win in the sibling rivalry. And even though the Ruotolos’ mother might not be too excited about a fourth match between her sons, the fans could be treated to it anyway.
“Technically I’m 3-0 against [Kade]. They were all wars, you know. I know he wants one back for sure. So we’re open to the match, I know my mom’s not super stoked on the idea, but other than that, I think it would be a good show for everyone. And yeah, it would be crazy.”