Despite World Title Pressure, Tye Ruotolo Focused On Ways To ‘Dismantle’ Magomed Abdulkadirov
Tye Ruotolo is just a week away from his long-awaited shot at gold in ONE Championship.
On November 3 in U.S. primetime, the 20-year-old BJJ sensation will square off with promotional newcomer Magomed Abdulkadirov for the inaugural ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Title in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 16: Haggerty vs. Andrade on Prime Video.
That matchup at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok will be Ruotolo’s opportunity to join his twin brother, lightweight submission grappling king Kade Ruotolo, as a ONE World Champion and solidify his status among the planet’s top pound-for-pound ground fighters.
With this history-making opportunity fast approaching, the Californian is confident that he’ll be able to tune out the pressures and perform at his best.
He told onefc.com:
“You can’t help but to think about [the pressure], for sure. You know, it pops into my mind here and there, and I think everyone’s different.
“But for me, I feel like it’s my job to kind of block that out and focus on the task at hand. Because I’m not fighting the title. I’m fighting Magomed.”
Ruotolo is wise to not overlook Abdulkadirov.
After all, the 32-year-old Dagestani – while the lesser-known name in this World Title showdown – is a decorated European ADCC Grappling Champion with a well-rounded, tough-to-crack style of grappling.
That’s why the American is only concentrating on how he’ll win, rather than the World Title he could win:
“At the end of the day, that’s what I’m focusing on all day long. At night, that’s all I’m thinking about is Magomed, how I’m gonna dismantle him.”
Still, Ruotolo admits that a chance to be the welterweight submission grappling division’s first-ever titleholder does add a different element to the match.
But as the youngest IBFFJ Black Belt World Champion in history – and twin brother to the youngest ADCC World Champion in history – Ruotolo has no shortage of experience in high-pressure, high-stakes situations.
“Yeah, the title is definitely obviously added pressure. But you know, my brother and I have been dealing with pressure our whole lives, and we’re pretty good at kind of negating it by now.”
‘I Should Be Able To Find A Window’ – Ruotolo Details Strategy Against Abdulkadirov
No matter how confident Tye Ruotolo is mentally, he must perform at his best physically to take out Magomed Abdulkadirov at ONE Fight Night 16.
The Atos representative is aware of his foe’s wrestling prowess, but that doesn’t mean he plans to deviate from his typical game plan of aggressively hunting for the takedown on the feet.
“When we fight, I want to lock horns, and it’s going to be a war for sure at the beginning. And he’s got good wrestling. My wrestling has improved a lot over the past four years, and I’m really excited to put it to the test against Magomed.”
Once they hit the mat, Ruotolo is sure that his finishing instincts, honed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training since the age of 3, will take over.
Loaded with confidence, he explained his mindset:
“It’s going to be hard to find a window, but my brother and I have been training 17 years. That’s my thing, finding windows. I should be able to find the window. And if I can’t, it means I just didn’t do everything I should have.
“You know, I truly believe there’s no chance, if I’m fully prepared, that he’s going to take the win. There’s no way.”
For Ruotolo, it’s submission or bust against Abdulkadirov.
But instead of looking for one particular type of finish, he says he’ll take anything and everything that’s available:
“Before, I used to have certain submissions that I would like to hit. You know, the D’Arce, or I’d want to hit a buggy choke. And at the end of the day, now I just want to submit my opponent no matter what.”