Tye Ruotolo’s unblemished ONE Championship record remained intact at ONE Fight Night 16 on Nov. 3.
The Californian notched up a decision win over Magomed Abdulkadirov to claim the inaugural ONE welterweight submission grappling championship at the star-studded event to move to 5-0 in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Although happy to claim his fifth win and the 26-pound gold belt, Ruotolo still wishes he could have finished the co-main event battle in style.
“I’m pretty happy, for sure. I did my best. When I go out there, that’s all I can do is do my best. And I’m always happy when I get the submission, of course,” he told ONE.
“That’s always my goal when I step on the mat, but my opponent didn’t give me a lot of opportunity.”
Ruotolo believes his well-earned reputation is one reason for the lack of a finish in his latest outing on the global stage.
The Atos representative has shined against BJJ superstar Garry Tonon and reigning middleweight MMA king Reinier de Ridder, and he thinks that opponents are cautious when stepping to him because of it.
“I guess I’m starting to create a big enough name to where people don’t want to attack me,” Ruotolo claimed.
“I think I need more opponents I want to come at me, you know. So I hope my next person, my next opponent, they’re ready to fight.”
Nonetheless, he was quick to credit Abdulkadirov following the win. Ruotolo had multiple catches during their bout, but was unable to force a tap from the steely Russian.
“You know, he’s very resilient, for sure. He’s very tough and he’s definitely got some gnarly neck muscles. And I hope his arm’s okay because that armbar was super tight. He’s just very resilient,” he said.
With gold now over his shoulder, Ruotolo expects to carry a bullseye on his back.
And one possible athlete who he could see slinging arrows in his direction shares the same DNA as him. It wouldn’t be an unthinkable idea that Tye’s twin brother, ONE lightweight submission grappling world champion Kade Ruotolo, could come calling for a showdown in a quest for two-division glory.
If that were to happen, Tye would be happy to share the mats with him, as they have already done on several occasions.
“I have three wins over my brother, which is funny because most of the time he was beating me, you know, so I caught him in the end, pretty much every time,” Ruotolo said.
“And I think, in my life, there’s no one that I’d rather fight in a competition. And my brother, he’s the toughest guy in the world.”
“You can fight big guys, but the scariest thing is someone technical, and my brother knows my game perfectly. So it’s gonna be a war every time we fight, and I’m open to fighting for sure.”
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