Kade Ruotolo
Kade Ruotolo successfully defended the ONE lightweight submission grappling title against Tommy Langaker in the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 11. ONE Championship


  • Kade Ruotolo matched up with grappling rival Tommy Langaker at ONE Fight Night 11
  • Ruotolo admitted that Langaker did not show him anything special
  • An MMA bout is next up on Ruotolo's plate as he declared

ONE lightweight submission grappling champion Kade Ruotolo was in the fight of his life against Tommy Langaker at ONE Fight Night 11.

While he came away with the win plus his title, he never felt threatened throughout the 10-minute bout.

"It's a great experience. Honestly, just like my last match, there weren't a whole lot of things that surprised me with his game. I knew what he was going to throw at me. It was kind of the same things I expected," Ruotolo said in the post-fight press conference.

There was some heat to this matchup as prior to the bout, Ruotolo recounted his experience with Langaker at the 2022 ADCC World Championships and even declared that he was aiming for a tap-out victory in their clash.

However, it was Langaker who struck first with a heel hook attempt that referee Vitor Shaolin confirmed, allowing him to get points with the judges first.

"I didn't feel too much pressure. In one match, there's only one thing I'm looking for, which is the submission. I was trying to get him really tired and make a mistake. But he did a good job out there with his underhooks. Then I started to look for counterattacks," Ruotolo pointed out.

The young American prodigy came back to even things up soon after though with what appeared to be a straight ankle lock, again relying on his all-out aggression to do so.

That scored favorably with the judges and convinced them that he should keep the title with a skin-by-your-teeth victory over a very game Langaker.

During the bout, there was a noticeable hesitance to Ruotolo's game because it looked as if he was completely aware of how dangerous his Norwegian counterpart was, even promising a submission victory in his next outing.

"I honestly felt like I was fighting 50% of what I'm truly capable of. I could have left so much more out there. Definitely, next time I will get that finish regardless of who it is... No excuses. Just like I said, I didn't feel my 100% self out there," Ruotolo stated.

With him effectively clearing out the competition in ONE Championship's still-growing grappling roster, the San Diego, California native again expressed that he was planning to step into the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) soon–something he announced in the post-fight interview.

"The energy was pretty nuts. I love the venue. This is one of my favorite venues I have ever been to. Hopefully, the next time I set foot in this arena, I will be up for some MMA," he said.

Kade Ruotolo, Tommy Langaker
Kade Ruotolo (left) and Tommy Langaker (right) in the midst of a grappling exchange at ONE Fight Night 11. ONE Championship