Kade Ruotolo (L) and Tye Ruotolo (R) with Andre Galvao (@ruotolobrothersjiujitsu/Instagram page)

Ruotolos Talk Grappling Legacy Ahead of ONE Fight Night 21

The Ruotolo brothers share a special bond and on Friday, April 5, they will continue to share the spotlight at ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas.

Both talented American grapplers will compete at the event in Bangkok, Thailand’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. Kade will take on Francisco Lo in a 180-pound catchweight contest, and Tye will defend the ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Championship against Isaak Michell.

Against Lo, Kade isn’t just seeking a victory. He wants to get another finish and take the result out of the judge’s hands.


“It was the funniest thing because that’s been my ONE Championship curse as of recently. You know, it’s my style, it’s no lack of effort, I’m coming close in almost every match. The Shinya match I had the buggy choke at the end, that was real tight. The Tommy one, I cinched in a triangle that was pretty tight. I was always pushing and I felt my opponent breaking at the end but I just wasn’t able to get the finish. Same thing with my Matheus match. It’s funny because ADCC was all submissions, four submissions,” Kade told ONE.

While Tye wants to earn a submission as well, his match will be against one of the most physical grapplers in the division. In a quest to continue to prove he is the best BJJ star on the planet, Tye is excited to add another name to his growing list of victims.

“I’ve been asking for Izaak for a little bit now. I’ve seen the success he’s been having in the jiu-jitsu world. He’s been beating a lot of good guys. He won the Who’s Next show. He’s respected. A lot of people are trying to say he has the best wrestling in jiu-jitsu. I just think he’s a very tough opponent. In my division, I want to beat all the best guys to the point where there’s no stones left unturned,” Tye commented.

“I’m actually really excited for it. Any time I fight big guys, the last thing I’m worried about is the physicality. I’m just looking for my windows and creating my windows. You saw in my Pedro Marinho match [at ADCC 2022], at one point, it kinda got a little bit heated and I just remember running toward him and grabbing him as hard as I could.”

If Michell tries to bring that physicality into his World Title shot, Kade believes his brother will have an easy night at the office.

“Trying to punk Tye and be that physical guy to Tye is always the worst game plan. The last thing you want to do is get him emotional. Trying to punk him will get him emotional. If you get him emotional, good luck. Anyone in the world is smoked after that,” he said.

Tye admitted that his emotions only increase his aggression on the mat. The Southern California native cited past matches and detailed how he enjoys breaking opponents that try to bully him.

The two matchups will continue to test the talented twentysomethings, who seem more like seasoned vets than developing martial artists.

But that is part of what makes them both so great. The constant desire to achieve greatness allows them to blossom instead of wilt.

“We’ve always noticed that the tougher our matches, the more we grow as a fighter, as an individual afterwards. It’s a win or a loss, you always grow so much after a tough war instead of just a match you’re expected to win,” Kade remarked.

While both stars are seeking important wins, Tye’s defense in the evening’s co-main event will draw the most attention.

With an earlier win predicted by Kade, Tye expects a stern test that will lead to an emotional submission to retain the ONE Welterweight Submission Grappling World Championship.

“I think it’s going to be a war the first couple of minutes. I think he’s going to come forward and I think he’s going to use his physicality a lot. One hundred percent it’s going to make me mad. So I’m really excited,” he said.

“I think I’m going to get on his back and choke him, or guillotine. I don’t really know how I’m going to submit him, I just have faith that I’m going to submit him. Whichever way it happens, I’ll take. I just want to put him on his back. I know I’m going to put him on his back first and sub him from there.”

ONE Fight Night 21 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, April 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.