Following the outstanding success that was ONE Fight Night 10, ONE Championship returns to Prime Video on Friday, June 9, for ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov.
The 10-bout card will serve as an excellent follow-up to ONE’s U.S. debut, especially given that it’s topped with two lightweight World Title showdowns.
In the co-main event, ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion Kade Ruotolo will defend his divisional throne against heated rival Tommy Langaker.
The Norwegian grappler has looked outstanding in his previous bouts inside the Circle, and he has repeatedly called his shot at gold.
Ruotolo understands he has a target on his back, and though he is young, the American star is more than happy to shoulder that burden.
“I’m starting to secure some of the most important titles in jiu-jitsu. ONE Championship, ADCC, and so on. Everybody wants those titles. They want to take them from me. So I feel a bit more of the hunted now rather than the hunter,” Ruotolo told ONE.
The 20-year-old grappler is coming off of a historic year in 2022. He became the youngest-ever ADCC World Champion and took the inaugural ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title all in the space of 12 months.
Despite his success, the hard work never stops for Ruotolo, and he’s got Langaker directly in his sights.
“I definitely respect his skills as an athlete, and I know he’s dangerous, but I don’t think there’s any way in this world that he submits me or puts me away. I think I’m going to be able to get the submission or put on a dominant performance for sure,” he said.
A chance encounter at a party has added a little more backstory to their upcoming World Title tussle.
The grappling stars had a brief confrontation after a tournament last year, which left the defending king hungry to scroe a finish
“At the ADCC afterparty, it was getting a little crazy. [Langaker] came up to me and he was like, ‘When are we going to fight?’ We exchanged some words. And then, long story short, I just body-locked him, and I picked him up in the air. I was like, ‘I could slam you right now. You’re lucky I won’t.’ I told him, ‘I promise you, when I fight you, I’m going to submit you.’ So now I’ve got to submit him,” Ruotolo recalls.
Although he says things are now fine between them, the Atos standout is still priming himself to score an emphatic win.
He plans to step to the Norwegian star right from the get-go – and be ruthless in his hunt for another successful World Title defense.
“I think having an opponent that you have a little bit of tension with just excites me more than anything. I just want to submit him really bad. From the second I step foot in there, I’m going to be very, very physical until I get that submission,” Ruotolo said.
ONE Fight Night 11 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, June 9. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.