Kade Ruotolo (T) vs. Tommy Langaker (ONE Championship)

ONE 167’s Kade Ruotolo: Reggae and His MMA Debut

Kade Ruotolo has taken over the submission grappling world, and he’ll look to do the same in mixed martial arts when he debuts in the sport against Blake Cooper in a lightweight battle on Friday, Jun. 7, at ONE 167: Stamp vs. Zamboanga

 While preparing for his bouts, the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Champion likes to listen to music. And he’s got a particular genre he always turns to. 

“I love reggae music. My entire life, my parents grew us up on it. I’ve always just kind of been growing up in that style of music,” Ruotolo told ONE


“I love the rhythm and the flow. It’s really easy to train jiu-jitsu to reggae because there’s a good rhythm, and you can honestly find yourself getting lost in the songs while training.” 

The laid-back approach of reggae allows the American star to find a mindset conducive to submitting his opponents, but he has changed it up for his MMA debut. 

As he prepares for the all-encompassing sport, Ruotolo needs more aggression to prepare himself for the unforgiving world it offers. 

“The only times I’ve found myself changing it up is when I’m going in for MMA sparring. I’ll put on some rap or whatever, just to hype me up and get into kill mode,” he detailed. 

“But other than that, I’m just going in for jiu-jitsu, it’s mostly just good vibes, and I’m listening to reggae.” 

No matter the style of music, Ruotolo is adamant that the medium offers him clear benefits. 

Using it throughout training and fight week allows the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert to find a flow state that he brings with him into his matches. 

“Music has a rhythm the same way fighting has rhythm. And if you’re not in rhythm, it always feels like the match isn’t going your way. I believe it can even start with music, just getting into your rhythm, and you can bring that into the match,” Ruotolo stated. 

And when it comes to specific artists, the southern Californian was quick to credit one of his favorite local acts. 

“Tribal Seeds is the best. We’ve been listening to Tribal Seeds forever, all their albums. I’ve probably listened to every single song they’ve made. They’re out of San Diego,” Ruotolo commented. 

With San Diego ties bonding the band with him and his twin brother Kade, Ruotolo would love to see the band come to a ONE Championship event so that they can experience what the duo does firsthand. 

Perhaps, if the pieces were to fall into place, a live walkout could even be on the table. 

“It’s super cool. Sometimes when we post the stories, or now, even when we’re walking out, they’ll tune in, and they hear the Tribal Seeds, so they’ll throw it on their story, so it’s super cool,” Ruotolo said. 

“One of their recent shows out in Mission Bay, they got us a couple tickets for it, so we went out there, and it’s super cool. We’re super thankful for that relationship. I told them, ‘If you guys want to come out to the next one, let me know.’ Yeah, those guys are absolute legends.” 

ONE 167 airs on Friday, Jun. 7, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from Bangkok. The action airs live on Prime Video and is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.